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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Centres show missing child images
People in a doctor's waiting room
The images will be shown on screens in waiting rooms
Pictures of vulnerable missing children are to be displayed in the waiting rooms of hospitals and GP surgeries.

Images of some of the 100,000 British children who go missing each year will be screened at UK health centres.

It is expected that more than a million people each month will view images and information on Missing Children TV.

Lady Catherine Meyer, founder of Parents and Abducted Children Together (Pact) said a child goes missing in the UK "every five minutes".

The adverts are a collaboration between Pact, which is a campaigning group, and the Police National Missing Persons Bureau.

The short information bulletins are to be screened by Electronic Health Media (EHM), which supplies television to more than 120 hospitals and surgeries.

Among the featured children will be Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, who vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on 3 May.

Technological help

Lady Catherine said Madeleine's case showed how vital it was to get the help of the general public in the search for a missing child.

Anything we can do to make our kids safer is really important and valuable
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Bryant

She said: "The trauma which families suffer when their children go missing is something which no parent wishes to experience.

"As the recent case of Madeleine McCann shows, it is imperative for the police to act quickly and enrol the public's help as soon as possible.

"To understand the scale of the problem, we have produced a report, entitled Every Five Minutes.

"The title reflects that every five minutes a child goes missing in the UK, and this is really appalling."

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Bryant said: "We know that when a child goes missing it's critical.

"The use of technology is key, and the technology behind this launch is part of that. Anything we can do to make our kids safer is really important and valuable."

The pictures will be downloaded from missingkids.co.uk, a website managed by the Police National Missing Persons Bureau.

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