A DUMBARTON charity has received a funding boost from a cash pot set aside from fines imposed in court on convicted criminals.

Dumbarton District Women's Aid is one of seven groups who will share in a cash payout from the Victim Surcharge Fund.

Set up by the Scottish Government in 2019, the scheme distributes money taken from additional penalties imposed on offenders who receive a fine in court.

The cash with organisations working to support people affected by crime.

Scotland's justice secretary Keith Brown insisted it was “absolutely right that criminals should pay towards helping victims of crime as they recover from their experience”.

According to the Scottish Government, cash from the fund has already helped more than 1,200 people affected by crime, with over £900,000 already awarded.

The latest funding is the third round of cash from the fund, with Mr Brown adding it will “help people impacted by crime to access support when they need it most”.

Other organisations receiving cash from the scheme in this round include Edinburgh Women’s Aid, group Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland and Victim Support Scotland (VSS).

The latest funding round will see £440,000 go to VSS, with chief executive Kate Wallace saying this would help the organisation continue to provide “vital and life-changing support to people affected by crime and who have no other means of financial support”.

Ms Wallace said: “The cost-of-living crisis has meant that more people affected by crime are struggling to make ends meet.

“Funding from the Victim Surcharge Fund allows VSS to provide essential items such as food vouchers, property repairs, alarms and funeral costs, thereby meeting the needs of vulnerable victims immediately following a crime.”

Since April 2020, VSS has provided £903,000 worth of goods and support to some 3,143 people, with this work funded in part by the Victim Surcharge Fund.

Speaking about the scheme, Ms Wallace said: “We accept applications directly from people affected by crime and have received referrals from over 200 support organisations.”