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

West Oxfordshire F1 car maker's future unclear

Oxford Mail: Everest Community Academy students admiring a Caterham F1 car

7:10am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

TALKS surrounding the future of the West Oxfordshire-based maker of Caterham Formula 1 racing cars are “not making much progress”, administrators said.

Fan unit fault is focus of Didcot power station fire inspectors

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

AN investigation into a blaze at Didcot B power station focused yesterday on a possible fault with a cooling fan unit in one of the cooling towers.

Bicester Community College hosts charity worker banned at school

Oxford Mail: Bicester Community College

7:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

THE director of a Sierra Leone charity banned from visiting a Stockport school amid fears about the Ebola virus is to give a talk at Bicester Community College tomorrow.

Minister joins Army medics on Ebola mission in Africa

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

INTERNATIONAL Development Secretary Justine Greening yesterday flew from West Oxfordshire to West Africa with troops helping in the fight against Ebola.

Tributes paid to man found stabbed to death on Abingdon riverbank

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A WOMAN was last night being held in custody on suspicion of murder after a man was found fatally stabbed in Abingdon.

UPDATE: Woman, 40, appears in court charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

10:03am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A WOMAN has appeared in court charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Abingdon on Sunday 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