CRITICS of the smacking ban have claimed Police Scotland will have to investigate more than 2300 allegations of assault against parents if the law is changed.

Campaigners said research from Wales shows that if the defence of reasonable chastisement is removed, there could be an estimated 1370 smacking allegations recorded in the first five years.

The Be Reasonable group said the study, carried out by the Police Liaison Unit for the Welsh government, suggests there could be 2370 investigations into smacking claims against Scottish parents, accounting for Scotland’s higher population.

A Bill to remove the defence of justifiable assault in Scots law, which allows parents to use physical punishment on children, is being considered by the Scottish Parliament, with similar legislation going through the Welsh Assembly.

MSP John Finnie, who proposed the Bill, said: "This so-called evidence is nothing more than a series of exaggerations and suppositions.

"The physical punishment of children is prohibited in 54 countries with all the evidence showing that there is unlikely to be any increase in prosecutions.

"We know that physical punishment can be harmful to children and that is why my Bill will ensure children in Scotland enjoy the same protection in law as adults."