‘Anxious day for families’ as AMs vote on smacking bill for final time

Members of the Welsh Assembly will today vote on the Welsh Government’s controversial smacking legislation for the final time.

It is expected that the bill, to outlaw reasonable chastisement, will be passed by AMs, the majority of whom have supported it at previous stages.

A spokesman for the Be Reasonable campaign said:

“This is an anxious day for families in Wales. AMs are to back a change in the law which will bring ordinary, loving parents into contact with the criminal justice system simply for using reasonable chastisement with their children.

“The Government is clear that parents who use smacking after a change in the law will face police investigation, cautions and even prosecution – even though there is no definitive evidence to show that reasonable chastisement results in negative outcomes for children.

“That sort of intervention in family life is incredibly harmful for parents, and for children and it’s a dangerous distraction for the police, who should be focusing their efforts on identifying and tackling abuse.

“Government figures suggest that this change in the law will cost more than £8 million – enough to pay hundreds of new police officers, teachers, or nurses, or fund millions of free school meals. Ministers need to focus on these priorities rather than going after loving mums.