Police share AM’s concerns over ‘smacking ban’

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar’s objections to the Welsh Government’s ‘smacking ban,’ has been reinforced this week by senior police officers in Wales.

Darren has been strongly against Labour’s proposals for a smacking ban since they were first mooted and has repeatedly called for them to be scrapped, fearing that such a law could criminalise ordinary parents.

In a submission to the Assembly's Children's Committee, the Welsh Chief Officer Group and All Wales Policing Group said alleged criminal behaviour - such as a parent smacking a child - would be disclosed on advanced criminal record checks whether or not it was proven.

They raised concerns there was a risk of malicious reporting against parents or professionals and said it was conceivable a child would be unable to live with a parent who was being prosecuted for smacking them, to prevent interference with the prosecution as well as to protect the child.

Darren said:

“From the first day these proposals were announced  I’ve been concerned about the potential criminalisation of many tens of thousands of decent, loving parents across Wales who use the occasional smack to discipline their children.

“I strongly believe that the overwhelming majority of parents know where to draw the line between reasonable chastisement and child abuse. We've already have comprehensive legislation to deal with the abuse of children, and people quite rightly are prosecuted using the existing legislation, and they should face the consequences of the law in that regard.

“Criminalising parents, taking their children away, and tarnishing the reputation of innocent people through disclosure in background checks; Welsh Labour's smacking ban will harm children and families, not help them.”