This week Roger Williams, Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, congratulated Mark Williams MP on successfully bringing forward proposals to update the criminal law on child neglect.
Mark Williams’ Child Maltreatment Bill, to which Roger Williams was a signatory, was not brought into law during the last session of Parliament but was nonetheless adopted by the Government as part of the Serious Crime Bill, which is currently making its passage through Parliament.
The law would ensure that Police had the power to act when children under the age of 16 are being psychologically or emotionally abused by their parents or carers, thereby giving them the same level of protection as is already afforded to spouses and individuals over the age of 16 under current domestic violence guidelines issued by the Home Office.
Commenting, Roger Williams MP said:
“Mark’s Law would bring an important element of legislation into the law of the land – helping to properly protect some of the most vulnerable children in our communities. I was a signatory to Mark Williams’ Bill and am delighted that it has been adopted by the Government.
“It is an important piece of legislation, because it adds emotional neglect to physical neglect as an offence. During the Welsh Grand Committee I suggested that it should become known as Mark’s Law to pay tribute to all the work he has done to get this as part of the law of the land and because it will prevent abuse to children.
“It is an outrage that a Victorian law still governs our understanding of the criminal neglect of children, when emotional abuse has been proven to be the most destructive form of abuse. This law will be an important step in the right direction – making sure the Police and Social Services have a more joined-up approach to protecting children.”