Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:49am GMT 04/03/2007
Children lack discipline and turn to crime because their parents are too
scared to smack them, says one of Britain's most senior black policemen.
Parents no longer use physical punishment because they fear they will end up
in court facing an assault charge, according to Supt Leroy Logan of the
Metropolitan Police Force.
He says that the results have been a decline in respect, a rise in family
breakdowns and an increasing number of children being put up for adoption.
Supt Logan, the deputy borough commander in Hackney, east London, made the
comments last week during a meeting of the all-party Commons Home Affairs
Committee, which is investigating patterns of crime among young black men,
including last month's spate of shootings in south London.
He told the committee that "lack of respect and discipline in the home" was
caused by "the parent feeling a sense of helplessness or a fear of
prosecution in the moderate correction of their child".
Black families had raised with him their concerns over the law on smacking,
he said, while some had even sent their children back to the Caribbean or
Africa, where physical punishments are traditionally used, "to regain their
cultural and community values of respect and discipline".
After the hearing, Supt Logan, who is also the chairman of the National
Black Police Association, said: "I was beaten by my parents. It was a
wake-up call to me, it's the rite of passage that you need."
In law, parents may smack their children without risk of being charged with
assault, as long as the force used is "moderate and reasonable". Three years
ago, legislation was changed so that blows hard enough to leave lasting
marks, which would be classed as actual bodily harm, can no longer be
explained away using the defence of reasonable punishment.
Supt Logan's comments drew praise from parents' rights campaigners, who said
they applied equally to white families who were now too afraid to smack
Norman Wells, the director of the pressure group Family and Youth Concern,
said: "He is absolutely right, and it's not only black parents who are
feeling intimidated by social workers and child protection agencies who
equate a moderate smack with child abuse.
"If parents are to be held responsible for their children's behaviour at
school and in the community, it is vital that their authority to reasonably
correct their children is recognised. The more parents' authority is
undermined, the less responsibility they will be inclined to take for
their -children, and the more their children will grow out of -control.
"Parents are authority figures in their children's lives and they need to
have effective sanctions at their disposal when their children misbehave. If
children don't learn to respect their parents, there is little hope that
they will respect other authority figures."
Anne Houston, the CEO of the child protection charity Children 1st, said
that children who are smacked by their parents may be more likely to resort
to violence in later life.
She said: "Supt Logan's comments suggest that if you don't hit children, you
are not teaching them respect. That is not our experience.
"Children learn from how their parents respond. If what they learn is that
if you don't like something, you hit out, then that is not a good lesson. If
their parents have other ways of dealing with things, that teaches children
there are ways to deal with situations that do not involve hitting out. We
help parents find alternative ways to discipline children."
Several European countries, led by Sweden, have banned the smacking of
children. Last year, the Government rejected a call from the four UK child
commissioners to introduce an outright ban, insisting that it was up to
parents to decide.
The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has admitted smacking his three older
children but says he has never smacked his youngest, Leo.
In other words, the British legislation is now what ours would be if
Chester Borrows' amendment is applied to Bradford's bill to amend the
Crimes Act. If Bradford's bill passes unamended, our legislation will
be far more radical than the British - forbidding any physical force
if used for correction.
BTW Dersu, check your clock - it seems to be set about four hours
Don't forget that ours also applies to non violent "time Out" if
you forcibly place a child in a time out room. That's
> Don't forget that ours also applies to non violent "time Out" if you
> forcibly place a child in a time out room. That's prosecutable assault.
Don't forget that that's one legal opinion of the proposed legislation,
and that it has been subsequently stated very clearly that if that
interpretation is valid, then the proposed legislation will be amended.
FFS - like or dislike the anti-smacking law, implying that the intent of
such law is that is would do as you say is insane. Get a life.
Exactly. It will be lawful to pick up and restrain a child to prevent
it from harming self or others - e.g. to keep it from running into
traffic - but not to put it in time out, which is for the purpose of
The people who drafted the legislation are morons. The effect will be
as John said. Get a brain.
As well as prventing a child from self harm - or harming others, parent
will (if the legislation is passed) be "allowed" to use force to prevent
them from "being offensive or disruptive, or as part of normal daily
tasks". Even dumbarse Copeland admits that.
??Just checked it using Atomic Clock sync and it is spot on, no adjustment
The actual wording of Bradford's section 59 follows. Picking up a
child to put it in time-out means using force on a child for the
purpose of correction, which is specifically prohibited in this
section - part (2).
4 New section 59 substituted
Section 59 is repealed and the following section substituted:
"59 Parental control
"(1) Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a
the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable
circumstances and is for the purpose of---
"(a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another
"(b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage
that amounts to a criminal offence; or
"(c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage
offensive or disruptive behaviour; or
"(d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to
"(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law
use of force for the purpose of correction.
"(3) Subsection (2) prevails over subsection (1)."
It seems to be OK now, but your last post arrived dated 3:43 at around
Perhaps you didn't understand the meaning of
The proposed law, unamended (which it is) will do what I say.
Just as the police have told us that the proposed law will not be
treated as some sort of training ground as envisaged by Bradford,
but will be enforced as the law. There is a proposed amendment
which would soften some of the Stalinist intentions, but Bradford
will have none of it.
> Exactly. It will be lawful to pick up and restrain a child to prevent
> it from harming self or others - e.g. to keep it from running into
> traffic - but not to put it in time out, which is for the purpose of
Does "Kid, you're doing my head in" qualify as "harming others"?
A L P
A L P
Do you not understand
They passed something similar, to Bradford's proposed law. in Nevada a
little while ago. It was very quickly repealed.
'Blood brothers in the stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender...'
>On Sun, 04 Mar 2007 20:03:00 +1300, John Cawston wrote:
>> Don't forget that ours also applies to non violent "time Out" if
>> you forcibly place a child in a time out room. That's
>> prosecutable assault.
>What do you mean by "forcibly place"?
Child misbehaves. parent decides that a time out is appropriate. Child
refuses to go to time out. Parent, after telling the child, again, to
go to time out, picks said child up and puts them in time out.
In otherwords, physically picking the child up and putting it in time
out could be construed as using force.
Houses here lack cellars and coal-holes for misbehaving children, anyway.
> On Sun, 04 Mar 2007 09:50:14 -0800, Karen Hayward-King wrote:
>>>> Don't forget that ours also applies to non violent "time Out" if
>>>> you forcibly place a child in a time out room. That's
>>>> prosecutable assault.
>>>What do you mean by "forcibly place"?
>> Child misbehaves. parent decides that a time out is appropriate. Child
>> refuses to go to time out. Parent, after telling the child, again, to
>> go to time out, picks said child up and puts them in time out.
>> In otherwords, physically picking the child up and putting it in time
>> out could be construed as using force.
3 dumbfuck questions in a row, a record even for you.
You have been ambiguous(again) so there are two replies.
How could it be construed as force? because the child does not want to go
and will resist. However letting the child have their own way in such
circumstances would be a terrible mistake from a parenting pov.
How do you pick a child up? Two hands under the armpits with gentle
pressure on the rib cage is the usual way. There are other safe techniques
with the young because they are so light. But around the rib cage is best
if you are unsure.
Yes I do understand. Didn't see it. Yes it seems very dumb. Is there
some further definition of "correction" in section 59 - or the proposed
Why don't newspapers etc show better information? They seem to wish to
present this only as a "for vs against" argument about whacking kids. (I
choose not to whack kids under any circumstance - but I do believe in
firm discipline) Removing discretion by police (about whether section 59
should be applied) and replacing it with legislation that again puts the
onus back on police as to interpretation of the new act, and in a way
that they would have to decide whether bunging a brat in time out is
covered by something in subsection 1, or whether this mysterious term
"correction" applies, seems fraught with problems.
I guess that the intent could have been based on the notion that locking
your kid(s) in the basement is bad. However, I suppose that a further
complication may be that simple and common discipline like being
"grounded" and being locked in a basement differ mainly in quality of
accommodation - which also isn't going to be easy to define.
No, there isn't.
So although you can physically restrain a child from hitting his baby
brother, you can't pick him up and put him in time-out as a punishment
for doing so, because punishment = "correction".
> Why don't newspapers etc show better information? They seem to wish to
> present this only as a "for vs against" argument about whacking kids. (I
> choose not to whack kids under any circumstance - but I do believe in
> firm discipline)
Probably because their objective is not to inform us, but to sell
> Removing discretion by police (about whether section 59
> should be applied) and replacing it with legislation that again puts the
> onus back on police as to interpretation of the new act, and in a way
> that they would have to decide whether bunging a brat in time out is
> covered by something in subsection 1, or whether this mysterious term
> "correction" applies, seems fraught with problems.
The whole thing is a cock-up. I could see plenty of argument about
what constitutes "offensive and disruptive behaviour", as well.
> I guess that the intent could have been based on the notion that locking
> your kid(s) in the basement is bad. However, I suppose that a further
> complication may be that simple and common discipline like being
> "grounded" and being locked in a basement differ mainly in quality of
> accommodation - which also isn't going to be easy to define.
I think the motivating force is Bradford's belief that children should
have exactly the same rights as adults. Ordinary citizens don't have
the right to "correct" other adults, so they shouldn't be allowed to
"correct" their children either.
Why not ... but how do you retrain a child to prevent it from doing
your head in?
I heard of a new method of discipline called "The Big Hug". The
parent takes the (e.g. trantrumming) child on their lap, immobilises
arms and legs, and just holds them there till they calm down.
Apparently kids hate this tactic.
Wouldn't work on the 14-year-old who has just clocked his step-father,
Typo ... how do you restrain a child ...