Welsh government must not ignore police concerns about smacking ban

Neil McEvoy

Neil McEvoy, Independent AM for South Wales Central, has called on the Government not to ignore concerns about banning smacking.

Citing a letter from a serving senior police officer sent to AMs this week (see below), Mr McEvoy said, “There are real concerns about how workable this smacking ban is going to be. Here we’ve got an experienced police officer writing to AMs saying the majority of officers think it is dangerous to pull front-line officers into allegations of a mum tapping her toddler on the behind, or indeed parents in general doing this. They just don’t have the time for this. As he says the ‘front-line is creaking as it is’.

“We’ve got enough trouble enforcing the existing laws against child abuse without confusing the picture by treating mums like abusers just because they use a little tap.

“The Children, Young People and Education Committee have given us a 200 page report on this Bill with twenty recommendations that need to be fulfilled before this ban can become law. There are lots of unknowns. The Government wants us to pass a bill when it cannot tell us how much it is all going to cost or what effect it is going to have on frontline services. It’s time we took a pause to decide if this is really a path we want to go down. I think we’d be far better supporting parents instead of criminalising them.”

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