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Kids told to report parents to the police as Scottish smacking ban becomes law

December 2020

CREDIT Ninian Reid / Flickr
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Scotland’s ban on smacking has come into force, with children being encouraged to report their parents to the police if they are smacked. Members of the public have also been urged to call the authorities if they see a mum or a dad smack their child.

Despite assurances that parents would not be turned into criminals, leaflets published by the Scottish government tell children as young as five to go to the police if their parents smack them.

Sociologist Dr Ashley Frawley is a supporter of the Be Reasonable campaign group, which opposed the introduction of the smacking ban.

Dr Frawley said, ‘Ministers have wasted no time in encouraging children to report mums and dads who smack.

‘Why does the government have such contempt for parents and carers in Scotland? There seems to be a complete lack of trust.

‘Children will have no idea that telling on a parent for smacking – or worse making something up – will result in stressful social work and police intervention in the family home.

‘They may even be questioned by police separately and removed from their family whilst a prosecution is ongoing.’

Dr Frawley added, ‘In 2016, when the UK Supreme Court struck down the Named Person policy, judges observed that a ‘totalitarian regime’ tries to ‘get at the children’ to ‘indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world’. This devastating observation rings true again here.’