The SNP have been accused of “letting down victims” as it has emerged that the Scottish Government is owed £155,000 by criminals.

Official figures highlight the arrears offenders have been allowed to build up since the introduction of the Victim Surcharge Fund in November 2019 – as well as ministers’ broken promises.

The SNP claimed that the fund would pay out £1million a year when it was launched in November 2019. But it has only generated £1.1m in total since then.

Shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay accused the Scottish Government of "over promising and under delivering", and insisted they must finally start supporting victims and holding criminals to account.

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Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay MSP said: “The VSF was established to provide much-needed financial compensation for victims but these significant arrears show that criminals are getting away without paying.

“In addition, the SNP promised that it would generate £1million each year. The reality is just a fraction of that. This scheme is just the latest example of the SNP letting down crime victims.

The Herald: Glasgow sheriff court.

“That is typical of the SNP consistently over-promising and under-delivering, but also of their weak justice system that is stacked in favour of criminals and neglects victims.

 “That must change – and SNP ministers should start by ensuring criminals pay their fines on time and that the VSF finally delivers what was promised.”

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Official figures on the Victim Surcharge Fund found that offenders failed to pay back £155,000 worth of fines under the scheme. 

The total value of Victim Surcharge fines paid to date is £1.153 million since November 2019. 

The SNP manifesto in 2016 promised they would be "establishing a Scottish Victims Surcharge Fund, paid for by offenders, which will provide more than a million pounds a year of funding for practical help for victims of crime."

Last month the Scottish Government revealed that support organisations for victims of crime have received more than £400,000 in funding through the Victim Surcharge Fund.

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Ministers said eight groups which support victims of crime across Scotland received £405,451 from funding that is generated from the penalties.

Victim Support Scotland, an independent charity set up to help victims and give information to people affected by crime, have received £300,000 from the fund.

The group also campaign for victim and witness rights and say it has been possible reach more than 1,400 victims and their families through the funding.

Migrant Help, a Glasgow-based charity supporting asylum seekers, refugees and victims of human trafficking and modern slavery received £28,540.

Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland (SOHTIS) were given £20,661 while Action Against Stalking, the only charity in Scotland dedicated exclusively to victims of stalking, received £15,000.

The Moira Fund, which was established in memory of Moira Jones who was murdered in Queens Park, Glasgow in May 2008 and aids those beavered by murder or manslaughter, received £14,500.

Dumbarton District Women’s Aid received £11,750 and The Manda Centre, which supports victim affected by trauma, loss and personal crisis, were given £10,000.

Dundee Women’s Aid also received £5,000 from the most recent round of funding.

Victims Minister Siobhian Brown said: “Since January 2021, over £1.3 million from the Fund has been paid out to 14 victim support organisations. The amount raised by the Victim Surcharge Fund is obviously entirely dependent on the number and value of fines imposed by the independent courts. The Scottish Government also funds victims’ organisations via the Victim Centred Approach Fund, worth £48 million over three years.”