Family First NZ says that the latest police review of the anti-smacking law shows that the law is a complete and utter waste of time as it fails to catch actual child abuse, wastes police resources and time, and targets non-abusive parents.
“While the country struggles with the problem of the P-drug, violent crime including armed hold-ups, and boy racing which is killing our young people, the police are having to waste time running around investigating parents who use a smack,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The prosecution rate for ‘smacking’ and ‘minor acts of physical discipline’ is as low as 5-8% and even ‘other child assaults’ have up to 20% of them only warranting a warning. This report, as with previous reports, continues to confirm that non-abusive parents are being investigated – which we always feared.”
“These results will be trumpeted by the supporters of the law change for doing what? Nothing!” says Mr McCoskrie.
“If the politicians introduced a law targeting boy racers that involved a significant number of investigations but less than 10% was actually catching offenders, it would be quite obvious that the law was dysfunctional. The anti-smacking law is ideologically flawed and a complete and utter waste of time.”
“The ‘roll of horror’ of child abuse deaths has continued since the law change. Sue Bradford was quite correct when she said ‘The epidemic of child abuse and child violence in this country continues – sadly. My bill was never intended to solve that problem.’ We agree.”
“You know a law is completely ineffectual when the proponents applaud it because of its lack of impact and the problem and rate of child abuse remains,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is calling on the National government to amend the law so that non-abusive smacking is not a crime, and good parents are not victims of a law which should be targeted more effectively at child abusers.
“NZ’ers are crying out for laws that actually target abusers and protect abused children.”