Police: anti-smacking law working well

3 News 30 Sep 2010
Only one person was prosecuted for smacking in the 16 months to June 2010 under the so-called ‘anti-smacking law’ – and the case ended with the accused discharged, without conviction. Police today revealed the findings of their latest review of the Crimes (Substituted s59) Amendment Act 2007, covering the period December 23, 2009, to June 22, 2010. Of 416 child assaults attended by police considered under the review, 25 involved “smacking” and 38 “minor acts of physical discipline”. Of the smacking events, 13 people were warned and 11 had no further action taken. Only one resulted in a prosecution for Child Assualt (Manually), and did not result in a conviction. Of the 38 acts of physical discipline, only two resulted in prosecution. Twelve people were warned, and 24 had no action taken. Family First director Bob McCoskrie rubbished the report, saying it trivialised “the real impact” of the law. “What these figures do show is that almost 350 families have gone through the trauma of an investigation, temporary removal of children, and potential court case for a smack or minor act of physical discipline, and 19 of these families have been taken to court,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Family First is aware of a number of more recent cases where parents have been investigated, prosecuted and/or had children removed for removing children to time out, or using reasonable force to deal with defiant behaviour and tantrums. “They continue to ignore the reality of parenting.”