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Extra cash for victims of crime welcomed by Vera Baird

8th August 2014

A Government announcement which will bring more cash to help victims of crime has been welcomed by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

Policing Minister Mike Penning’s announcement that the Victim Surcharge will be extended to include offenders given a custodial sentence in magistrates’ court will bring an additional £1.5m to victims each year.

Vera Baird said: “I’m delighted extra funding will be given to victims of crime helping them to recover from their traumatic experiences.

“I’m passionate that victims are at the heart of everything we do and work closely with the services helping crime victims and their families.”

The Victim Surcharge has raised up to £51m since 2010 which is used to help rape and domestic violence victims as well as families bereaved by murder and fatal collisions.

Mrs Baird said: “All victims should get the help and support they need and this additional money will be put to good use helping those who’ve suffered because of crime to move on with their lives.”

From 1 September offenders sentenced in magistrates court could be given extra days in prison instead of paying the surcharge.

This has been brought in under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to ensure criminals are made to pay.

Anyone sentenced to six months or less will be ordered to pay £80, while those sentenced by magistrates to between six and 12 months will be ordered to pay £100.