Skip to main content

Fines: Compensation

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what discretion magistrates have in implementing the victims’ surcharge when the sentence is a fine. (134421)

Magistrates have no discretion in implementing the victims’ surcharge when the sentence is a fine. They have a duty under section 161A(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 to impose a surcharge. By virtue of the Surcharge Order it must be imposed in all cases where the sentence is a fine, whether or not any other penalty is imposed.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs who is responsible for (a) notification and (b) collection of the victims’ surcharge; what estimate has been made of the cost of collecting each victims’ surcharge; what funds have been allocated for the collection of the surcharge; and to which budget they have been allocated. (134422)

The court which imposes the victims’ surcharge is responsible for notification of the surcharge. Collecting the surcharge is the responsibility of the magistrates court, in the same way that they currently collect other financial impositions. As the courts are using existing systems, process and legislation (fines collection scheme) and the victims’ surcharge is being treated in the same way as a fine for the purposes of enforcement, there are no additional implementation costs for this Department.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what representations she has received on the victims’ surcharge since its introduction. (134423)

The Department has passed any representations received on the victims’ surcharge to the Home Office to respond to as they have lead policy responsibility for the issue. We do not keep a log of representations passed on this way.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what discussions her Department had with (a) magistrates and (b) court clerks before the introduction of the victims’ surcharge; and if she will make a statement. (134424)

The Department consulted with the Magistrates’ Association and Justices’ Clerks’ Society on the implementation of the victims’ surcharge. The surcharge was discussed by the DCA’s Criminal Enforcement Policy Advisory Group where the Justices’ Clerks’ Society and Magistrates’ Association were represented. Both organisations went on to jointly produce guidance for justices’ clerks and magistrates on the application of the surcharge.