BORDERS supporters of a national push to outlaw smacking took to the streets of Galashiels last week.

The local supporters of Children 1st joined a national day of action to gather support for legal reform to end physical punishment of children.

Shoppers in Galashiels were asked to sign a petition and show their support for John Finnie MSP’s Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill.

Amanda Aimable-Erskine, from Children 1st Borders, said: “I’m here today because I think it’s shocking that children have less protection from violence in law than adults.

"It’s been lovely to hear so many folk from the Borders, of all ages say that they are right behind our campaign to end physical punishment.

"Many of them were surprised that the law hadn’t changed already, which shows just how out of touch the current law is.”

The Bill is aimed at removing the legal defence of ‘justifiable assault’ from Scottish Law and is now in its final stages at Holyrood.

South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish, who took part in the Galashiels campaign, is also supporting the Bill.

She told us: “I am supportive of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill.

"The United Kingdom is one of only four countries in the European Union not to legislate against the physical punishment of children in all settings.

"Scotland needs to send a clear message that the physical punishment of a child it not acceptable.

"It defines the type of society we are and want to become.

“This Bill is not about criminalising parents or carers; it’s about giving children the same protection in the law that adults have and I believe the time has come to do this.”

As well as Galashiels, stalls to support the Bill were also set up in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Paisley and Musselburgh.

Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive of Children 1st, added: “It’s great to see so much support from families as this vital legal reform reaches its final stage.

"All the evidence shows that physical punishment doesn’t work and can cause harm – and politicians at Holyrood have clearly heard that there is no longer any place in Scotland for it.”