Smacking prosecutions up to eight
Fri, 24 Aug 2012 1:50p.m.
By 3 News online staff
There have now been 8 smacking prosecutions since so-called ‘anti-smacking’ legislation was introduced in 2007, according to the latest police review.
The review covers 500 child assault events attended by police in the second half of last year, of which 23 involved smacking and 45 involved “minor acts of physical discipline”.
For the purposes of the review, smacking is defined as “a slap with the open hand on the buttocks or legs that does not result in any form of injury”.
While a minor act of physical discipline is defined as “a slap with the open hand on any other part of the body (including the face) that does not result in any form of injury”.
The remaining events making up the 500 covered by the review are more serious child assaults involving injury, and events where no offences were disclosed.
Police say three prosecutions resulted from the 23 smacking events – the most in any review period so far. No previous review period has contained more than a single smacking prosecution. Eighteen more of the smacking events in the latest review led to warnings being issued.
Of the minor acts of physical discipline, six resulted in prosecution and 36 saw warnings issued.
The remaining events in these categories resulted in no action, or another action undisclosed by the review.
Police Assistant Commissioner, Malcolm Burgess says the latest findings are consistent with earlier reviews of the amendment in practice.
“Numbers of events in most of the categories, including smacking have trended up. We attribute this to the more widespread use of the legislation by police as it becomes embedded in our enforcement practices and also to increased reporting as public awareness of the legislation grows,” says Mr Burgess.
The number of smacking incidents in the latest review period, 23, is an increase of five incidents from the previous two reviews.
“We continue to be happy with the way the legislation is being applied by police staff.”
Police say they will continue to review the implementation of the 'anti-smacking' amendment until the delivery of a final report due at the end of the year.
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27/08/2012 8:22:33 a.m.
When I have grandkids I want them to live nearby. BUT I think it would be better for them if their parents brought them up in Australia where parents can actually raise, train and discipline their children to be good citizens, without the law putting so much power in the hands of capricious kids. Here in NZ we have a law targetted at middle-class and good families but doing nothing to prevent real child abuse.
25/08/2012 3:15:29 p.m.
Have the numbers of child deaths at the hands of parents reduced because of this legislation? No. A total waste of time, and an idiocy policy to make it look like something is being done. I have nothing but contempt for the instigators and regulators of this law.
24/08/2012 3:04:49 p.m.
Dont take children out in public.
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