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Fined offenders to pay victim surcharge from November

12 September 2019

Offenders fined in the Scottish courts will have to pay an additional surcharge towards supporting victims of crime from November this year.

Regulations laid in the Scottish Parliament today, for approval by MSPs, set the levels of the surcharge, which will apply to crimes committed on or after 25 November 2019.

The money raised will go to the Victim Surcharge Fund. Victim support organisations will be able to apply to the fund to cover the costs of providing short-term and practical support, such as new windows and locks for burglary victims or funeral expenses for families of murder victims. Payments from the fund will start to be made six to 12 months after the regulations come into force.

The surcharge payable will begin at £10 for fines up to £200, then £20 for fines of £200-500, £40 for £500-1,000, £75 for £1,000-2,500, £175 for higher fines up to £5,000 and then £350 for higher fines up to £10,000. Above £10,000, the surcharge will be 7.5% of the fine.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "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."

He added: "This new fund will be a valuable addition to support available and we have worked with the UK Government to ensure the necessary legislative arrangements are in place to allow its operation.

"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."

The number oif fines imposed by Scottish courts in 2017-18 was 38,474.

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