Wales smacking ban consultation closing

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A last call has been made for people's views on plans to outlaw the smacking of children in Wales.

Ministers have said that removing the defence of reasonable punishment would make it clear smacking was "no longer acceptable".

Charities including the NSPCC claim this would bring Wales in line with dozens of other countries but campaigners against the law fear it could criminalise ordinary parents.

Consultation ends on Monday.

The proposed law would not involve creating a new offence but would instead remove the defence to the existing offences of assault and battery.

So, any adult looking after a child would no longer be able to use physical or corporal punishment against them.

If prosecuted, parents or guardians could expect to face proceedings for assault in a magistrates' court.

The consultation document said it anticipates an initial increase in cases but this "would decline in the longer term as attitudes to corporal punishment continued to change".

Views can be submitted via the Welsh Government website.

Scotland became the first part of the UK to confirm plans to outlaw the smacking of children last year.

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