Smacking ‘would help cut crime’

Children turn to crime because their parents are too scared to smack them, so they lack discipline, according to a police chief.

Superintendent Leroy Logan says many parents no longer use physical punishment because they fear an assault charge.

The East London officer made his comment at a meeting of a Commons committee investigating crime among young black men.

Mr Logan said black families had told him of their concerns over the law on smacking.

Some had sent their children back to the Caribbean or Africa, where physical punishment is still used, “to regain cultural and community values of respect and discipline”.

The law on smacking means that parents who bruise or mark their children are guilty of assault and cannot claim they were meting out reasonable punishment.

Mr Logan said: “I was beaten by my parents. It was a wake-up call to me, it’s the rite of passage that you need.”

But Anne Houston, of the charity Children 1st, said children who are smacked may be more likely to resort to violence in later life.