Child-assault reporting ‘on rise’

The Press 06/03/2010
Police are dealing with more cases of child assaults, with an improved culture of reporting attributed to the rise. In a summary of the enforcement of the controversial anti-smacking law, released yesterday, police also revealed a second prosecution for smacking since the law came into effect in June 2007.

Green MP Sue Bradford, whose private member’s bill sparked the anti-smacking law change, said as far as she could tell, the law was being implemented as Parliament intended. “We aren’t seeing thousands of parents being prosecuted for trivial acts of physical discipline,” Bradford said. (no Sue – just hundreds through the police and perhaps thousands through CYF). However, Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said police were still wasting time on smacking and minor acts of physical discipline. “Where are the urgently needed reports on why our child-abuse death rate sky-rocketed in the past 12 months?” McCoskrie said.

Smacking law works – according to psychologist!
Yahoo Xtra news
Deputy Police Commissioner Rob Pope said the figures showed police continued to apply discretion in handling “anti-smacking” cases. Lobby group Family First NZ, which opposed the law change, said the figures showed parents were receiving police warnings for smacking and minor acts of physical discipline, which the Prime Minister had said were okay. The group was concerned that parental authority would be undermined by the prospect of a police visit after a smacking. Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the report showed that of the 265 families investigated since the law was passed, two people had been prosecuted for smacking and 14 for minor acts of physical discipline. Eighty-six percent had received warnings, and those prosecuted received “inconsequential or nil punishments”, he said. “What a complete waste of police resources that could be far better used protecting families from P crimes, home invasions, monitoring child abusers, and armed robberies,” said Mr McCoskrie.