Chch police: More smacking prosecutions

TVNZ July 07, 2009

Christchurch police say they are prosecuting more people as a result of the anti-smacking law. The Human Rights Commission on Tuesday stated there was very little reason for a parent who gives a child a slap or a smack to be concerned they will be prosecuted. However, the head of the Canterbury police child abuse unit says that is not entirely so.

Detective Sergeant Jenkins says the new law has made a difference and they are now prosecuting where they once would not have. He said police are now probably prosecuting about once a week now and the child abuse unit deals with about 400 cases a year – about 30% of which are for varying levels of violence. Jenkins says each case is examined individually and police cannot rule out prosecutions for trivial smacks. But, he says police take the discretion they have been granted seriously and apply it where they can.