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Scottish ministers have ‘no plans to ban smacking’

Both the Scottish and English Children's Commissioners have called for a ban on smacking. Picture (posed by models): Robert Perry

Both the Scottish and English Children's Commissioners have called for a ban on smacking. Picture (posed by models): Robert Perry

  • by TOM PETERKIN
 

SCOTTISH ministers last night indicated that they have no plans to outlaw smacking despite the Children’s Commissioner for England joining her Scottish counterpart by calling for a ban.

A Scottish Government spokesman said ministers did not want to criminalise parents for “lightly” smacking a child after Maggie Atkinson said it should be 
illegal.

While reluctant to criminalise parents who smack, the Scottish Government did say it did not support physical chastisement when it came to disciplining children. According to the Scottish Government, existing laws already outline what is acceptable punishment.

In an interview yesterday, Atkinson argued that adults were forbidden from striking each other and there was a law against chastising pets.

“But somehow there is a loophole around the fact that you can physically chastise your child. It’s counter-evidential.”

Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner Tam Baillie outlined his opposition to smacking when he appeared in front of a Holyrood committee in the summer.

Last night a Scottish Government spokesman said: “The government does not support smacking as a way of disciplining children. However, we do not wish to criminalise parents for lightly smacking their child.”

 

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