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Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Victim Surcharge

98.The duty to order the Victim Surcharge was introduced through section 161A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (“the Criminal Justice Act”) which requires a court when dealing with a person for one or more offences to order him or her to pay a surcharge. Section 161B of the Criminal Justice Act gave the Secretary of State the power to specify the amount of Surcharge, which was originally set at £15 whenever an offender was dealt with by way of a fine in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) (No 2) Order 2007 (SI 2007/1079).

99.The Victim Surcharge has raised approximately £52.4 million over the last six years (£3.8 million in 2007/08, £8.1 million in 2008/09, £9.2 million in 2009/10, £10.5 million in 2010/11, £10.3 million in 2011/12 and £10.5 million in 2012/13) with all revenue being used by the Government to fund victim support services.

100.In the response to the consultation, Getting it right for victims and witnesses,(48) the Government set out proposals to ensure that offenders are responsible for making greater reparation to victims and for contributing more to the cost of victim support services.

101.Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1696) (“the 2012 Order”), which came into force on 1 October 2012, courts are now required to order an adult offender sentenced to a fine to pay a surcharge equating to 10% of the fine subject to a minimum of £20 and a maximum of £120. The 2012 Order also requires the court to order a surcharge of £60 where an adult offender is sentenced to a community order and a surcharge as determined in the table below where an adult offender is sentenced to imprisonment (including a suspended custodial sentence):

Period of custodyAmount of surcharge
Six months or less£80
More than six months and up to and including 2 years£100
More than 2 years£120

102.The 2012 Order specifies lower surcharge amounts where the offender is under the age of 18. The approach to ordering the surcharge as set out in the 2012 Order ensures that the amount to be paid is linked to the seriousness of the sentence. The arrangements for payments of the Victim Surcharge in the 2012 Order, along with increased financial penalties such as penalty notices for disorder, are expected to raise up to an additional £50 million per year for victim support services.

103.Currently magistrates’ courts (but not the Crown Court) in sentencing a person to immediate custody have the power to add additional days to be served in default of payment of the Surcharge. The response to the consultation, Getting it right for victims and witnesses (paragraphs 141 and 142) set out the Government’s intention to legislate to remove this power. Section 179 gives effect to this change in magistrates’ courts sentencing powers.

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