From today many more criminals will be made to pay towards supporting victims
of crime. Currently offenders only contribute around one sixth of the funding
that supports victims’ services. Hard-working taxpayers provide the rest.
In a massive overhaul to the way services for victims and witnesses of
crime are funded, the 'Victim Surcharge' is being increased and extended to
apply to a far wider range of sentences.
Extending the 'Victim Surcharge' is the next step in the Government's drive
to see offenders provide up to £50 million more each year for victims services.
This is on top of the £66 million already given by central Government.
Victims Minister Helen Grant said:
'Only one pound in every six that the Government spends supporting victims
of crime comes from offenders. Hardworking and innocent taxpayers pay for the
rest. This balance is utterly wrong and that is something I am determined to
'Criminals create victims. As well as being punished for their crimes, they
should help to repair the damage they have done. From today many more offenders
will, literally, be made to pay for their crimes. And the more serious the
sentence, the more they will be forced to pay.'
The money raised will go to support local organisations that have a proven
track record in supporting victims at their most vulnerable. Among those that
could benefit are children's groups and charities supporting victims of rape,
domestic violence, hate crime, burglary, anti-social behaviour and other violent
crime - including murder and manslaughter.
Today's announcement comes just days after it was revealed that in the
first year of the Prisoners' Earnings Act, around £800,000 has been taken from
working prisoners' wages and given to the charity Victim Support to provide
practical support to victims of crime.