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Support For Victims Of Crime

24th March 2021

Victims of crime will receive support provided by the first payments from a fund that takes money from offenders.

Five organisations are sharing £157,000 from the Victim Surcharge Fund to provide practical help to victims. This includes support such as emergency household, food, utility or clothing expenses and helping with costs to repair or replace damaged property or goods.

It can also be used to provide new windows and locks for victims of house break-ins or to cover travel costs, for example, to places of safety or to attend court.

The fund is drawn from additional financial levies imposed on all offenders who receive a court fine. Payments have been made into the fund since the regulations establishing the victim surcharge were passed on 25 November 2019.

The payments have been made as more than £7 million of grant funding for victim support organisations in 2021-22 was also announced. This includes extended funding for Victim Support Scotland, Action Against Stalking and organisations providing support to victims of human trafficking.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:"While overall levels of offending and the number of victims have fallen significantly over the last decade, it can often be frightening and isolating for those who do experience crime.

“It is absolutely right that criminals should pay towards helping victims of crime as they recover from their experience. That is why we introduced this fund, in addition to more than £7 million of grant funding we are providing to victim support organisations.

“I'm pleased that payments have now started being made from the fund, allowing organisations such as Victim Support Scotland and the Moira Fund to provide even more help to victims and their families.

“At the same time, the Victims Taskforce continues to drive forward system improvements to ensure that victims remain at the heart of Scotland’s justice system."

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, said:“Throughout the pandemic, we have provided £300,000 through our Victims Fund reaching more than 800 people and their families affected by crime.

“Many people face financial destitution after a crime and this additional money available through the Victims Surcharge Fund will allow us to meet the continual needs of vulnerable victims in the aftermath of crime, covering the costs of, for example, food vouchers, rent, property repairs, alarms and funeral costs.

“For many of the people we support, this financial assistance can be life changing and sometimes lifesaving. We therefore welcome this development which we hope will go some way to empowering people to move on after a crime.”

Bea Jones, Chair of The Moira Fund, said:“The pain and trauma of losing a loved one through violence affects all family members, all of whom have many and diverse needs not all of which can be addressed by existing support.

“This funding will enable us to support families across Scotland beyond those immediate and desperate pleas for help, with the provision of respite aid at a point when it is needed most.”