Police statistics confirm child discipline law protects children who need it most

July 10, 2009

The latest six-monthly Police statistics confirm that the public can have confidence in the child discipline law and the way it is being administered.

“The statistics released today show that Police have prosecuted fewer cases of smacking and minor physical discipline in the past six months, but more cases of other child assault.  In all cases, Police advise that they have only taken action because of the range of circumstances combining to place children at risk.  As such, the law is protecting those who need it most and this is positive news,” said Deborah Morris-Travers, spokesperson for the Yes Vote coalition.

These figures continue to demonstrate that Police are exercising the discretion affirmed in the law.  While the law grants children the same legal protections as all other citizens have, Police are not prosecuting parents who lightly or occasionally smack their child.  The legal opinion from the Human Rights Commission released this confirms the law is a necessary statute and is working well.

“Importantly, the law is consistent with government and community efforts to support parents to do their best for their children through the use of positive, non-violent, parenting techniques.

“The statistics released today affirm what members of the Yes Vote coalition have said many times … the child discipline law is working well and parents have nothing to fear.  This is yet another good reason to vote YES in the upcoming referendum,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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