Police and Bradford missing the point.

Oh hooray, the Police have released the last 6 months of 2009 figures of people prosecuted under the amended s59 and are all pleased with themselves as is Sue Bradford. I bet “Smile and Wave” Key is too.

One person was prosecuted and eight people warned over child “smacking” events, according to the figures released by police for the last six months of 2009.

The prosecution was dealt with by way of diversion and was the second prosecution since the controversial “anti-smacking” legislation became law in June 2007.

Of 39 “minor acts of physical discipline” brought to the attention of police, one resulted in prosecution, 37 in warnings and one resulted in no further action being taken.

In December, Prime Minister John Key asked police to continue their regular reporting of action taken under the legislation for a further three years.

Deputy Police Commissioner Rob Pope said the figures showed police continued to apply discretion in handling “anti-smacking” cases.

They and Bradford miss the point. What I want to see is not the numbers of these offences but the numbers of child abuse offences. Sue Bradford stood in parliament and repreatedly told us that the law change was to protect children and help stop child abuse. Well is it? That was what the law intended, not her manipulation of how many people were prosecuted.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that more than ever children are being beaten, maimed and killed, particularly if they have the mis-fortune to be born Maori and poor.

Sue Bradford and John Key and the police need to face the sad statistics and stop telling obfuscations about the how the “law is working as intended”.