How right Joshua Rozenberg is to pour scorn on the legerdemain of the Ministry of Justice over levying the victim surcharge.

This has been brought into effect irrespective of any of the philosophical underpinning or due process safeguards applying to all other financial sanctions. ‘Looking tough’ in this way is cheap, unprincipled posturing. I struggle to remember any other single measure so reviled by advocates and the judiciary.

‘Ring-fenced to fund emotional and practical support services for victims of crime’? Pull the other one. ‘Going straight into the ministry’s coffers’ more like. And in any event, for those serving sentences, the process of collection swallows up any notional benefit.

Also, why should we believe for a moment that any significant sums ordered are actually being collected?

Malcolm Fowler, Dennings, Tipton