DOMINION POST (Helengrad): Regular Smackers May Face ChargesCan anyone remember the name of that gutless plonker who helped to pass this into law on the basis that the "guidelines" wouldn't criminalise good parents?
Parents who regularly smack their children despite warnings face prosecution and referral to Child, Youth and Family under police guidelines on the controversial law banning physical punishment.
Even parents found to have used "minor, trivial or inconsequential" force and not charged will have their details recorded by police family violence coordinators, under the guidelines sent to officers yesterday...
UPDATE: Here on the police website are the all-important guidelines, and unsurprisingly they're hardly pellucid in their clarity. Sample:
If you're a parent, best you print it out, keep it in a drawer somewhere, and refer to it regularly. And whatever you do, don't let the kids read it: any self-respecting youngster will quickly realise how much control they now have over you.
No definitions are offered about what constitutes reasonable force. In using force parents must act in good faith and have a reasonable belief in a state of facts which will justify the use of force. The use of force must be both subjectively and objectively reasonable. Any force used must not be for the purposes of correction or punishment; it may only be for the purposes of restraint (s 59(1)(a) to (c)) or, by way of example, to ensure compliance (s 59(1)(d))...Paragraph 19 of the Police Family Violence Policy states:"Given sufficient evidence, offenders who are responsible for family violence offences shall, except in exceptional circumstances, be arrested.
In rare cases where action other than arrest is contemplated, the member's supervisor must be consulted."Force used on children that is not permissible under section 59 is covered by the Family Violence Policy.It is considered good practice that assault investigations involving children be referred to Child Abuse Investigators, and investigated in conjunction with Child, Youth and Family.
Where an assault on a child is witnessed by Police or where a report of an assault needs to be dealt with promptly, Police Officers will need to determine whether section 59 provides a good defence and if it does not, arrest the alleged offender unless there are exceptional circumstances...