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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Missing child alert system starts
Outline of a child
Police say the public will be alerted "quickly and accurately"
A new system, based on the Amber Alert in the United States, which makes it easier and quicker for police to find missing children is being launched.

Under the new Child Rescue Alert (CRA) scheme, forces in England and Wales will contact the media at the earliest stage of a suspected child abduction.

Text messages will also be sent out to members of the public.

Senior officers say the public can act as the "eyes and ears of the police" to help finding missing children.

CRA's will be sent out if the missing person is under 18 and if there is "a reasonable belief" they have been kidnapped, abducted or are in "imminent danger of serious harm or death".

The CRA will be a valuable resource to the police to enable them to carry out their investigations swiftly and effectively to better safeguard the lives of children
Acpo

Richard Bryan, Acpo's missing persons spokesman said the alerts would mean the public were alerted "quickly and accurately in the very early stages of investigation".

"It is hoped that the public, as they go about their daily business, will be aware of the child's abduction and act as the eyes and ears of the police to assist in the safe recovery of the child," he said.

"The CRA will be a valuable resource to the police to enable them to carry out their investigations swiftly and effectively to better safeguard the lives of children."

As well as public appeals from the media, members of the public who register their mobile phones as part of the scheme will receive CRA text messages.

The scheme has been piloted by a number of forces but has been rolled out across all forces in England and Wales from Monday.


SEE ALSO:
Child kidnap alert scheme starts
19 Mar 06 |  England
Child safety scheme launched
27 May 03 |  Southern Counties
Kidnap warning scheme launched
14 Nov 02 |  UK News


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