Victim surcharge

When sentencing for offences committed on or after 1 October 2012 a magistrates’ court must order the Victim Surcharge in the following ways (CJA 2003, s.161A; Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) Order 2012 and Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) (Amendment) Order 2016):

– Offenders aged 18 and older at the date of the offence

  Victim Surcharge
Disposal type One or more offences committed before 8 April 2016               All offence(s) committed               on or after 8 April 2016
Conditional discharge £15 £20
Fine 10 per cent of the fine value with a £20 minimum and a £120 maximum  (rounded up or down to the nearest pound) 10 per cent of the fine value with a £30 minimum and a £170 maximum  (rounded up or down to the nearest pound)
Community sentence £60 £85
Suspended sentence order £80 (six months or less) £115 (six months or less)
Immediate custody *£80 (six months or less) £115 (six months or less)

– Offenders aged under 18 at the date of the offence

Disposal type One or more offences committed before 8 April 2016     All offence(s) committed     on or after 8 April 2016
Conditional discharge £10 £15
Fine, Youth Rehabilitation Order, Community Order, Referral Order £15 £20
Suspended sentence order £20 £30
Immediate custody *£20 £30

* When sentencing an offender to immediate custody for a single offence committed before 1 September 2014 or more than one offence, at least one of which was committed before 1 September 2014, no surcharge is payable. (Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) Order 2012 as amended by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) (Amendment) Order 2014)

– Person who is not an individual (for example, a company or other legal person)

  Victim Surcharge
Disposal type       One or more offences committed    before 8 April 2016             All offence(s) committed              on or after 8 April 2016
Conditional discharge £15 £20
Fine 10 per cent of the fine value with a £20 minimum and a £120 maximum  (rounded up or down to the nearest pound) 10 per cent of the fine value with a £30 minimum and a £170 maximum  (rounded up or down to the nearest pound)

Where an offender is dealt with in different ways only one surcharge (whichever attracts the higher sum) will be paid.  Where there is more than one fine ordered, then the surcharge for the highest individual fine is assessed, NOT the total of all fines ordered.  Where a custodial sentence is imposed the surcharge is based upon the longest individual sentence, NOT the aggregate term imposed.

Where the court dealing with an offender for more than one offence and at least one offence was committed when the offender was under 18, the surcharge should be ordered at the rate for under 18s (Criminal Justice Act 2003 (surcharge) Order 2012 art.5(3)).  There is no victim surcharge payable when  compensation is ordered as a sentence (as opposed to ancillary order). 

The surcharge should not be repeated when dealing with breach of a community order, suspended sentence order or conditional discharge.

Where the offender has the means to pay the financial impositions of the court, there should be no reduction in compensation or fines whenever the surcharge is ordered. However, when the court:

  • orders the offender to pay both a surcharge and compensation, but the offender is unable to pay both, the court must reduce the amount of the surcharge (if necessary to nil) (Criminal Justice Act 2003, s.161A(3)); or
  • orders the offender to pay both a fine and a surcharge, the court may only reduce the fine to the extent that the offender is unable to pay both (Criminal Justice Act 2003, s.164(4A)).

Where the offender does not have sufficient means to pay the total financial penalty considered appropriate by the court, the order of priority is:

  • compensation
  • surcharge
  • fine
  • costs.

When sentencing for one or more offences any one of which was committed after 1 April 2007 but before 1 October 2012, a surcharge is payable only if the offender is dealt with by way of a fine, at a flat rate of £15 (Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) Order 2012 art.7(2)).