Victim surcharge

Since October 2012, a new system of imposing a victim surcharge has been in force. The previous regime involved a £15 surcharge on all convicted individuals where a financial penalty was imposed.

The new regime will see the surcharge levied on all those convicted in the courts of any criminal offence. The sums involved will depend on the sentence imposed and so the surcharge is not related to the type of offence committed, the harm caused, the loss suffered by the victim or, crucially, the means of the individual to pay. The surcharge is separate and distinct from any costs or compensation awarded. Judges will have no discretion as to whether they imposed it or not.

The amounts (for those over 18) are as follows:

Offender aged 18 or over at date of the offence One Or more offences committed before 8th April 2016 All offence(s) committed on or after 8th April 2016
A Conditional discharge £15 £20
A fine 10% of the fine value with a £20 minimum and a £120 maximum (surcharge should be rounded up or down to the nearest pound) 10% of the fine value with a £30 minimum and a £170 maximum (surcharge should be rounded up or down to the nearest pound)
A community sentence £60 £85
An immediate custodial sentence * 6 months and below – £80
Over 6 months and up to and including 2 years – £100
Over 2 years – £120 (only in Crown Court)
6 months and below – £115
Over 6 months and up to and including 2 years – £140
Over 2 years – £170 (only in Crown Court
A suspended sentence  6 months and below – £80
Over 6 months – £100
6 months and below – £115
Over 6 months – £140

*When sentencing in magistrates’ courts to immediate custody for a single offence committed before 1 September 2014 or more than one offence at least one of which was committed before 1 September 2014, no surcharge is payable.

The Ministry of Justice has published a circular which introduces in more detail the Victim Surcharge. This is available to download here.

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