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Magistrates courts surcharge move

Offenders who are handed jail sentences in the magistrates' courts will have to pay the victim surcharge in a move set to raise a further £1.5 million a year.

The victim surcharge, which has raised about £51 million since 2010, goes toward helping victims of rape, domestic violence, families bereaved by murder and fatal road traffic crimes.

Victims' minister Mike Penning, said: "It is only right that offenders should pay both for their crimes and to help repair the damage they have done.

"I want all victims to get the support they need and deserve, whether through counselling, help through the criminal justice process or another form of support.

"The money being raised through the surcharge is already being put to use in some groundbreaking ways to help people move on with their lives as much as possible. I am pleased we are bringing in these changes and raising more money for victims."

Previously offenders sentenced in the magistrates court could be given extra days in prison instead of paying the surcharge, however the Government has brought in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to prevent this.

The extension will come in from September 1, and will see those sentenced to six months or less ordered to pay £80, and £100 for those given between six and 12 months imprisonment by magistrates.

It is expected it will apply to 43,000 cases per year.


From Belfast Telegraph