Police called 58 times to tackle parents smacking their children

Michaela Middleton

Michaela Middleton

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

ALMOST 60 Oxfordshire parents have been reported to the police for smacking their child in the last five years.

A total of 58 reports were made to Thames Valley Police between 2009 and March this year, figures released to the Oxford Mail show.

In all cases, a ‘smack’ or ‘smacking’ was recorded to have been carried out by a parent or a family member.

Eight were recorded as assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two were recorded as crimes of neglect/cruelty while 11 were recorded as assault without injury.

In total 35 cases that were reported were classed as crime related incidents, but not recorded as an official crime.

Of the 66 children the reports covered, 27 were aged five to 10 and police action was taken against 11 parents. Seven were cautioned and one got a suspended prison sentence, with the others dealt with by restorative justice, where they apologise to their victim.

Chalgrove father-of-two Paul Waters, 40, said: “My wife, Louise, and I do not agree with smacking at all. It’s abuse, surely?”

The BMW logistics manager dad to Harry, three, and Jamie, two said: “I don’t think it’s a police matter, though.”

Michaela Middleton, 45, who is mum to Finley, five and Lucie, two, said: “I don’t use smacking as a form of punishment, but it’s a threat that I use very regularly.

“If I deemed it necessary I would, it has a place in society. There’s a definite line between making your child understand and situations where it is overused which could then lead to abuse.”

The Upper Arncott resident said: “If it’s a family member reporting it, then the police getting involved is warranted. But if it’s just someone over the street, they don’t know your circumstances and the ins and outs.”

Parents can smack their children as “reasonable chastisement” but not if it causes any physical injury.

Force spokeswoman Connie Primmer said: “In many cases, the evidential threshold for a criminal prosecution is not met, and the most appropriate course of action is for the local authority’s social services to provide support to the parents regarding their parenting skills.”

Tom Rahilly, head of strategy and development for physical abuse at children’s charity the NSPCC, said: “Smacking frightens children and leaves them feeling confused, and doesn’t act as a good deterrent for bad behaviour.

“A minority of parents will go beyond smacking and in these cases it is right that the police and children’s services become involved to ensure the welfare and protection of the child.”

Owen Morton, spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council which is reponsible for child welfare, said: “We take safeguarding children very seriously and work with the police, health and schools to protect children from maltreatment.”

The figures were released under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Oxford Mail.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley tells jury his killer brother was evil

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of helping his brother bury the body of Jayden Parkinson wept in the dock as he was told to look at photos of the two graves.

'I'm glad my evil ex has been jailed for injuring me'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A WOMAN left with life-changing injuries after her violent boyfriend pulled her car’s handbrake on the A40 said she is glad the “evil” man has been jailed.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

Haggis and a wee dram on menu for Burns Night

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

FAMILIES and friends across Oxford are coming together to celebrate Sunday’s Burns Night in style.

Delight at decision to replace whole water pipe in Normandy Crescent

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

RESIDENTS have welcomed Thames Water’s decision to replace the water pipe running through a flood-blighted street as “a step in the right direction.”

A34 northbound re-opened after lorry crash

Oxford Mail:

8:28am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE A34 northbound between Marcham and Milton re-opened this evening after the road was closed when a lorry crashed into a ditch last night.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree