Six Month Review of the s59 Amendment (Anti-smacking Bill)

5:05pm 23 June 2008

Police have undertaken a second review of the amendment of section 59 of the Crimes Act (the Smacking Bill) covering the period 29 September 2007 to 4 April 2008.

This review covers a period of just over six months.

In order to make comparisons with the initial three month review, it is helpful to break down this latest review into two three month periods.

Police will continue to carry out six monthly comparisons from the next review period.

See table below:

During the first three months of the current review period, there was an increase in the number of smacking events attended by Police. The number decreased during the second three month period to levels similar to pre-enactment levels.

Deputy Commissioner, Rob Pope says even with the increase the numbers are still very small.

“A rise in smacking cases in the September to January phase will be driven by a number of factors including seasonal variation. This phase recorded the Christmas and New Year period, a traditionally stressful time for families and a time where incidents of violence increase across the board”.

There was a larger increase in “minor acts of physical discipline” events attended by Police in both three month periods.

In total over the current six month review period, Police attended 288 child assault events, 13 of which involved “smacking” and 69 of which involved “minor acts of physical discipline”.

All of the 13 cases involving “smacking” and 65 of the 69 “minor acts of physical discipline” were determined to be inconsequential and therefore not in the public interest to prosecute. Of the four cases prosecuted, one was withdrawn after successful completion of diversion and three are yet to be resolved through the Court.

The full review report can be accessed here:


For more information

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