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: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

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

Update: Bullfinch: More than 350 youngsters potential abuse victims as campaigner calls for action not apologies

Oxford Mail: Marilyn Hawes

7:46am Monday 2nd March 2015

MORE than 350 youngsters in Oxfordshire have been identified as potential victims of groomers, the Oxford Mail understands.

UPDATE: All lanes reopened on M40 northbound between junction 8 and 9 after serious crash

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

3:52pm Monday 2nd March 2015

The M40 has reportedly been closed northbound between J8 and J8A near the Wheatley services due to an accident.

UPDATE: Kanye West delights crowds in Oxford at talk at Museum of Natural History + video

Oxford Mail:

2:01pm Monday 2nd March 2015

International rap superstar Kanye West is expected in Oxford this afternoon for a talk at the Museum of Natural History.

Discovery: Remains of a woman and a coin dating from the 1600s are unearthed

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 2nd March 2015

THE SKELETON of a woman thought to be nearly 400 years old has been unearthed at an Oxford college.

Parents across Oxfordshire discover fate of child's secondary school place

Oxford Mail: New Oxfordshire county council logo

8:44am Monday 2nd March 2015

PUPILS across the county will find out today whether they have got their first-choice of school as Oxfordshire County Council issues places for secondary schools today.

Grannies put on a unique trolley dance

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 2nd March 2015

TWO dancing grannies took over the streets of Oxford as the city’s main annual dance festival got into full swing.

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