The Gazettedrew attention to the increase in the extent of the ‘victim surcharge’ which is soon to be imposed on those who receive custodial sentences.

It is unclear how the government proposes to extract payment from the impecunious defendant who receives a prison sentence. If it is proposed that a consecutive period of imprisonment will be imposed in default, the cost of enforcing that default will outweigh any benefit.

Of course it may be that no thought was given as to how these surcharges are to be collected; with the result that the scheme will only appear credible because of the increased charges paid by long-suffering motorists and television-licence defaulters.

James Parry, Parry Welch Lacey, Huyton, Liverpool