Criminals to pay out of own pocket

Plans to make criminals who assault police officers in the line of duty pay for their crimes have been unveiled by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

The Scottish Government will also consult shortly on proposals for a victims’ surcharge, to create a fund to help the victims of crime.

Assault on police officers is an offence and is currently punishable by fines, imprisonment, a Community Payback Order or a compensation order.

Between January 1st 2010 and February 2012 there were 4,890 convictions on charges of assaulting a police officer.

Under the new plans, another option would be a ‘restitution order’ which would see criminals pay cash to good causes.

The orders would not replace the existing arrangements for compensation direct to victims.

Ministers aim to bring forward legislation to create restitution orders and a victims’ surcharge in the forthcoming Victims and Witnesses Bill which will also contain a package or measures to support victims more generally.