Scottish offenders would be hit with a “surcharge” on crime under Labour proposals for a fund to help victims.
The party outlined its vision for the scheme, which would impose a financial penalty on top of fines or compensation imposed by a court. Labour says the money would be used to improve services for victims and “rebalance” the justice system.
Party leader Iain Gray said, “There is no such thing as a victimless crime and that is why it is only fair that offenders who commit crime should contribute to victims’ services as part of their reparation.
“This innovative approach will hit criminals in the pocket while supporting the law-abiding majority who too often become the victims of crime.
“This scheme forms part of a whole package of measures from Labour to better support the victims of crime.”
Mr Gray said the plan which will be part of the party’s Holyrood election manifesto could generate up to £2 million if a £20 surcharge was added at current collection rates. A similar scheme operates in other countries including England, Wales, Sweden and the USA.
The measure has won the backing of Victim Support Scotland.
Deputy chief executive Jim Andrews said, “Victim Support Scotland believes that every convicted offender should be required to pay a surcharge to help fund victim support services. For offenders disposed of through financial penalties the surcharge should be added to any fine.”