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Last Updated: Saturday January 15 2005 13:33 GMT

New smacking law comes into force

Child holding an anti smacking sign
A new law on smacking children has come into force in England and Wales.

Parents who smack their children so hard that it leaves a mark could face up to five years in prison but mild smacking will still be allowed.

A similar law that bans heavy smacking is already in force in Scotland.

But the child protection charity, the NSPCC says the new law is confusing and has called for a complete ban on all forms of smacking.

Not enough

Head of the NSPCC, Mary Marsh said, "Defining acceptable ways to hit children should become a thing of the past. It should be just as wrong to hit a child as it is to hit an adult."

The NSPCC is worried that the rules do not do enough to protect children.

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