Beware meddling in families’ lives
THE NSPCC does great work in protecting children from harm, but I’m afraid I find myself in disagreement with Des Mannion (the society’s head in Wales) who writes in support of the Assembly Government’s plan to make smacking a criminal offence (Your Views, February 1).
The state has a role to play in safe-guarding children but it is the responsibility of parents to bring up and discipline children. Government needs to think carefully before it risks meddling in family life.
Any good parent is well aware that there is a world of difference between a corrective smack on the bottom, and child abuse or assault. The last- mentioned are already illegal, so it is incorrect to say that children do not have the same protection as adults from such abuse.
The Welsh Government has said that its intention is not to criminalise parents, but it’s obvious that it would do exactly that. A 2017 ComRes poll showed that 76% of Welsh adults would be against that happening, but I get the impression that even if there were 100% against a smacking ban, it would be unlikely to change the thinking of those down in the Bay.
A smacking ban would prove to be counterproductive. Chasing up parents who are reported for trivial cases would take up too much police and social workers’ time – time which could be better spent dealing with serious child abuse. I would expect the NSPCC to have recognized that. RH Ashton Pengam, Blackwood