Angus MacDonald backs Victim’s Surcharge for Police
Thursday, 12 April 2012 16:34
MSP for Falkirk East Angus MacDonald has backed the plans by the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to make criminals pay an additional fine if they assault police officers in the line of duty.
The Scottish Government is planning to consult on the proposals for a victims’ surcharge, which will create a fund to help victims of crime.
Currently assaults on police officers is punishable by imprisonment, fines, community payback orders or compensations orders but under the new plans a ‘restitution order’ would be put in place and see criminals pay money to good causes. The new order would not replace existing arrangements for compensation direct to victims.
The police scheme would see the proceeds of such restitution orders donated to charities such as the Police Benevolent Fund and Castlebrae treatment centre in Auchterarder. This would see officers assaulted at work receive the very best care, to allow them to quickly return to duty.
Between 1 Jan 2010 and 28 Feb 2012 there were 4,890 convictions on charges of assaulting a police officer.
Commenting on the proposals Angus MacDonald said:
“As a former police officer I am certain that these proposals will help not only police officers who are assaulted on duty but ordinary victims of crime. The Scottish public demands that our courts deal firmly with criminals and this should extend to court ensuring that victims benefit from fines and restitution orders.
I am glad that the Scottish Government is considering plans for a victims’ surcharge to help victims of crimes recover after their ordeal. In particular police officers who often put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. The Castlebrae centre does fantastic work currently helping officers with physical and mental health problems.
But currently such work is mostly funded by the victims. Nobody could say it is fair that victims are raising donations to undo the damage done by criminals. It is only right and fair to expect that criminals who assault police officers should pay for this centre’s treatment."