Bid to save abducted children

A POTENTIALLY life saving scheme was due to be launched in Suffolk today in a bid to save abducted children from harm.Suffolk Constabulary is one of six forces in the Eastern region to sign up to the child rescue alert system - a scheme aimed at warning the public as soon as possible when a person under 18 goes missing and is believed to have been abducted.

A POTENTIALLY life saving scheme was due to be launched in Suffolk today in a bid to save abducted children from harm.

Suffolk Constabulary is one of six forces in the Eastern region to sign up to the child rescue alert system - a scheme aimed at warning the public as soon as possible when a person under 18 goes missing and is believed to have been abducted.

Broadcasters across the east have agreed to interrupt programmes to issue news flashes and run ticker tape messages at the bottom of television screens.

The scheme will run in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.


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Carole Howlett, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary, spoke on behalf of the six forces.

She said: “Our hope is that we never need to use this system and thankfully child abductions are extremely rare.

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“However, having this mechanism and agreement will mean that we are able to send urgent messages and appeals out very quickly if we need to.

“This could make a difference between children living and dying.”

The scheme is based on the United States' Amber Alert which was launched in Texas following the kidnapping and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman in 1996.

An alert is only activated if four criteria are met: a child under 18 is missing, the child has been abducted, sufficient descriptive detail of the offender or vehicle is available and a senior police officer at Superintendent level or above feels the child could face serious danger.

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