Ban on smacking children ruled out in the UK.

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2007-10-25 17:10

A victory for common sense. Hopefully NZ politicians are taking note!

October 25, 2007

Ban on smacking children ruled out
Sam Coates, Chief Political Correspondent of The Times

Ministers ruled out a complete ban on smacking today after a government review found that the majority of parents were opposed such a move.

Kevin Brennan, the Children’s Minister, said that the law would stay as it was after officials reviewed the way in which new rules were working.

Despite calls from many organisations for a ban, Mr Brennan said that the evidence was that fewer parents now used smacking to discipline their children.

In a statement to MPs, he said: “Whilst many parents say they will not smack, a majority of parents say that smacking should not be banned outright. The Government will retain the law in its current form, in the absence of evidence it is not working satisfactorily.”

Mr Brennan’s announcement came after the Government conducted a review of the law, which changed in the 2004 Children’s Act. Section 58 of the Act removed the the defence of reasonable punishment from parents and adults acting “in loco parentis” who are charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, wounding or grievous bodily harm, or cruelty to a child.

At the time, ministers promised to review the law to assess whether it was working. Officials surveyed parents, children and examined other evidence for the review, which took place this summer.

Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the Children's Commissioner for England, called for a complete ban, with the “reasonable punishment” exemption to be scrapped. “Children and young people in England should have the same right to protection under the law on common assault as that afforded to adults. There is no good reason why children are the only people in the UK who can still be hit,” he argued in June.

Yesterday, however, Mr Brennan said: “The police have discretion to deal with cases as they consider appropriate, taking into account factors including the evidence available, the public interest and the best interests of the child. The law is clear and Section 58 has improved protection for children.

Tim Loughton, the Tory Shadow Schools Minister, said: “This is a clear victory for common sense. Clearly, if any adult is responsible for abuse and violence towards a child they need to face the full rigour of the law.

“But there is a world of difference between that and criminalising loving parents that use chastisement as they see fit in the interest of their child.

“There was never any public appetite for reopening this can of worms just three years after the issue was debated in Parliament.”

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OK, so you've got a

Carrie's picture

OK, so you've got a disruptive 13 yr old, who's winding you up beyond imagination, when you walk away THEY attack YOU. The same teenage has already beaten the plump out of two kids in school & they go on a warning system with one more chance...then its 'goodbye'....try home schooling!

The Point: Kids today are more violent & rude to those around them they've ever been. Society is paying a serious price for taking away the 'fear of Consequences' factor in these kids’ lives.

If anything, we as parents are more prone to being hit by our kids just to reel us into slapping them back...then they'll call in the Authorities.

Hitting to hurt & terrorising Kids is way over the top, however, outlining the limits & following through on the rules should be absolutely acceptable...not only for the Households sake, but the community as well.

Teenagers know the Law & in their MSN's & Blogs, they're 'advising' each other how to be in 'Charge of themselves'.....I've see it & have experienced it.


Elijah Lineberry's picture

seems there are some Labour Governments who have no intention of effectively inviting the Opposition Leader into the Prime Ministers Office to start measuring up for new curtains and wallpaper...but know a silly idea when they see one.

Ministers ruled out a

Lance's picture

Ministers ruled out a complete ban on smacking today after a government review found that the majority of parents were opposed such a move.

"absence of evidence it is not working satisfactorily."

Good on them Smiling. Guess they don't have anyone like Sue Bradford who would ignore the parents and lie about the evidence then?

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