Child Neglect

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th May 2014.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland Conservative, South Swindon 2:30 pm, 6th May 2014

What plans he has to reform the criminal law in relation to child neglect.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

Child cruelty is an abhorrent crime which should be punished severely. Every child should be able to grow up in a safe environment. We are considering ways in which the criminal law can most effectively support that, and we will set out our conclusions and next steps in due course.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland Conservative, South Swindon

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. May I urge him to introduce proposals in the next Session of Parliament that will bring the criminal law of England and Wales into line with the family law of England and Wales and recognise all types of significant abuse, including emotional abuse, which is, I am afraid, all too prevalent in the lives of many of our young children?

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

I am grateful for the information and campaigning verve that my hon. Friend has brought to this issue. As he knows, I have been speaking to Action for Children and other bodies that are campaigning on the issue and, as I said, he will have our conclusions in due course.