COWDENBEATH MSP Annabelle Ewing has welcomed news from the Scottish Government that, as of this week, offenders will be required to contribute to the cost of supporting victims of crime.

Speaking on Wednesday Ms Ewing said: “Criminals receiving Court fines will now face a new financial penalty which will be put in a Victim Surcharge Fund.

“Victim support organisations will be able to apply to the fund to cover the costs of providing short-term and practical support such as new windows and locks for house-breaking victims or funeral expenses for families of murder victims.

“The charge applies to crimes committed from this week onwards so we will start to see payments from the fund being made within the year.

“Financial penalties imposed on those found guilty of crime should not just be seen as a punishment, and this surcharge brings an element of restorative justice to the system".

The MSP added: “It is surely only right that criminals should be required to pay towards helping their victims to deal with the consequences of the crime that has been committed and to move on with their lives.”

The table below sets out the level of surcharge that will be payable depending on the value of fine that is imposed by the court.

Amounts of Fine and Surcharges payable are, Up to and including £200-£10; Between £200.01 to £500 inclusive£20; Between £500.01 to £1,000 inclusive £40; Between £1,000.01 to £2,500 inclusive £75 Between £2,500.01 to £5,000 inclusive £175; Between £5,000.01 to £10,000 £350; In excess of £10,000 7.5% of the fine.