Wellington – LawFuel.com – The Law Newswire – The Police have not allocated any “direct or specific budget” to respond to the anti-smacking bill, expected to become law this month, they have told law news website LawFuel.com.
The controversial legislation, which has aroused much controversy for a number of reasons, one being the fact that prosecution “discretion” rests with the Police, which could lead to the criminalisation of otherwise law-abiding parents.
Sources have told website LawFuel.com that the Police have been preparing instructional and other material related to the legislation in order to ensure that Police members are fully appraised of how to react to complaints relating to the legislation.
However an Official Information Act request to Police resulted in a comment that no specific budget had been allocated, although clearly costs to already stretched Police resources are considered to be high.
“The Police have got more cases and much more serious issues to deal with than these matters,” a source told LawFuel, “and yet they have been mandated to exercise a semi-judicial role in household disputes, which is a costly, time-consuming and ultimately detracting activity for a force that is desperately seeking additional manpower to cope with serious crime already.”
The Police told LawFuel, “While staff time has been spent considering the legislation and the possible Police response to it if it is passed, this has not been measured or quantified.” The request for specific budgetary information was denied.
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