More help for victims as criminals pay towards costs.
The third application round of the Victim Surcharge Fund has now opened for bids from organisations that support victims of crime.
Anyone who commits a crime that results in a court fine is charged an additional penalty – the victim surcharge. The accumulated Victim Surcharge Fund provides direct, practical help to victims, for example meeting household repair costs that have arisen due to crime, or providing food, utility or clothing expenses for people escaping domestic abuse.
A total of £413,727 has been awarded to organisations, including Victim Support Scotland, trauma and loss centre the Manda Centre and Scottish women’s aid groups, since the Scottish Government launched the Victim Surcharge Fund in 2019.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown said:
“We are committed to putting victims' rights and needs at the centre of the criminal justice system and it is absolutely right that criminals should pay towards helping victims of crime as they recover from their experience.
“The Victim Surcharge Fund builds on the Scottish Government’s wider support for victims. Over the past five years we have invested £93m through our justice budget alone, demonstrating our commitment to putting victims first.
“I encourage victim support organisations to apply to the Fund so that victims can continue to access the support and help that they need.”
Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland Kate Wallace said:
“The cost-of-living crisis has meant that more people affected by crime are struggling to make ends meet. This additional funding from the Victim Surcharge Fund allows VSS to cover the cost of essential items such as food vouchers, property repairs, alarms and funeral costs, thereby meeting the needs of vulnerable victims in the aftermath of crime.
“Since 2020, VSS Emergency Assistance Fund has provided £495,000 worth of goods to more than 1,000 people and their families, thanks to funding from the Victim Surcharge Fund. We accept applications directly from people affected by crime and have received referrals from over 200 support organisations.
“For many of the people we support, this financial assistance is simply life changing. We welcome the news that the fund has reopened, which helps empower people to move on after a crime.”
- Victims' organisations interested in applying to the Fund can request an application form by emailing VictimSurchargefund@gov.scot and should apply by the 9 January 2023 deadline.
- Previous recipients have included Victim Support Scotland, The Moira Fund, The Manda Centre, Angus Women’s Aid and Dumbarton District Women’s Aid.
- The victim surcharge came into force in Scotland on 25 November 2019 and applies to all persons who commit an offence on or after that date and who are subsequently convicted and receive a court fine.
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