4th Police review of Crimes (Substituted section 59) Amendment Act 2007

4th Police review of Crimes (Substituted section 59) Amendment Act 2007

National News

The 4th review of police activity following enactment of the Crimes (Substituted section 59) Amendment Act 2007 has been completed. The review shows that, in line with previous reviews, the legislation has had minimal impact on police activity. During the current review period (4th October 2008 to 4th April 2009) police attended 279 child assault events. 39 of these events involved 'minor acts of physical discipline", 8 involved smacking. Police prosecuted 4 of the "minor acts of physical discipline" events, but no prosecutions were brought for child assault event involving smacking. Of those prosecutions 1 was discharged without conviction and the other three cases are yet to be heard. During the previous review period (5th April 2008 to 3rd October 2008) police attended 258 child assault events of which 49 were "minor acts of physical discipline" and 9 involved smacking. Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Rob Pope says the review has allowed police to continually monitor how the amendment has impacted on police work: "We are nearing the end of the two year review period post enactment." "I am confident in saying that this latest review again shows the amendment has had minimal impact on police activity. It continues to be "business as usual" for us and police continue to use their discretion and common sense in their decision making around child assault events." "The reviews conducted by police are based on thorough analysis of cases and include feedback from police districts". Analysis of the 5th and final review period from 5th April 2009 to 22nd June 2009 is now underway. Ends Contact: Grant Ogilvie, Police National Headquarters: 04 474 9476 Editors notes: (i) Further details of the 4th review figures can be found on the police website at www.police.govt.nz/resources (ii) Police undertook to monitor police activity for a two year period from enactment of the Crimes (Substituted section 59) Amendment Act 2007 from 22nd June 2007. A review of the 3 months prior to enactment was also carried out. (iii) The 279 child assault events identified in this review period is not the total number of child assault events attended nationally by police during this time. These are events which, according to 7 offence codes, were most likely to identify "smacking" type incidents. This is because "smacking" in itself is not an offence. (iv) The terms 'other child assault', 'minor acts of physical discipline' and 'smacking' were created for internal monitoring purposes by police so the reviews could accurately reflect the complex nature and context of each case. The rationale for evaluating each case into a category involved consideration of the actual physical action used in the child assault, and on the context and surrounding circumstances.