New victim surcharge makes offenders pay towards the cost of supporting victims of crime
Offenders will be made to pay towards the cost of supporting victims of crime with the introduction of a new victim surcharge.
All criminals who are sentenced to pay a fine will now have to contribute to the cost of supporting victims through an additional charge.
The extra charge will vary in proportion to the size of the fine, from £10 on a fine of £200 up to £350 on fines between £5,000.01 and £10,000 and 7.5 per cent of the fine on penalties above £10,000.
Money raised will be kept in the Victim Surcharge Fund and victim support organisations will be able to apply to the fund to cover the costs of providing short-term and practical support.
This could be, for example, new locks or windows for victims of housebreaking or funeral expenses for families of murder victims.
The charge applies to crimes committed from Monday 25 November and payments from the fund will start being made in six to 12 months’ time.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Experiencing crime can be an isolating and frightening experience and we are committed to improving the experiences of victims in our justice system.
“It’s only right that criminals should pay towards helping victims to recover and move on with their lives.
“The money raised through the surcharge will pay for practical support that will make a real difference to victims and their families.
“While Scotland’s long-term fall in crime means fewer people fall prey to criminals, we are continuing to invest £18 million annually to improve support, advice and information for victims.
“This new fund will be a valuable addition to support available.
“Over the coming year we will also be carrying out further work to better understand where the gaps are in how Scotland supports victims and witnesses.”