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In the legal system of England and Wales, the victim surcharge is a penalty applied to people convicted of offences, in addition to a conditional discharge, a fine, or a community or custodial sentence, in order to provide compensation for the victims of crime.[1][2]

The surcharge is not paid directly to the criminal's victim, but is pooled and distributed through the Victim and Witness General Fund. The amount to be paid is specified by law, and courts have no discretion to reduce the amount, nor to waive the surcharge, even for defendants of limited means.[3] The law journalist Joshua Rozenberg has reported cases where a surcharge levied against a young person became the responsibility of their parents - even when a parent was the victim of the crime in question.[3]

The surcharge was first introduced in 2007.[2][4] From 1 September 2014, the discretion of magistrates' courts to apply additional custody days in lieu of the surcharge was withdrawn.[2]

Amounts


For offences committed after 8 April 2016, the amount of the surcharge, depending on the penalty awarded, is:[1]

Other figures apply for legal persons who are not individuals; and offenders aged under 18.

Official figures show that £51m was raised, between 2010 and 2014.[2]

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