Scots culture 'could change with anti-smacking law'

Scotland’s commissioner for children and young people Kathleen Marshall is calling for a change in legislation which would ban the smacking of children in the country.

She was speaking at a conference being held in Edinburgh to evaluate potential legal reforms which would provide children with legal protection from assault similar to that which applies to adults.

And one of Scotland’s most senior police officers, detective chief superintendent John Carnochan, has expressed his support for the change.

The head of Scotland’s violence reduction unit, Mr Carnochan has suggested that outlawing smacking could "stem the trajectory of violence" which affects the country.

He told the Scotsman: "Stopping parents smacking their children has the ability to change the whole culture of Scotland."

The existing Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows for "justifiable assault" but makes illegal striking children on the head, shaking them or hitting them with an implement, such as a cane.