AMBER Alert International – Issue 1 2021

Short News Clips on AMBER Alert & Child Protection Issues from Around the World

Canada continues to test its emergency alert system

The Canadian Emergency Alert System was tested again on November 25, 2020, to make sure the emergency alerts are effectively reaching cellphones, radio, and TV stations. Past tests have revealed technical issues that led to notification delays. Authorities are still working to make sure the system is compatible with different networks and cell towers. The Alert Ready system has been used more than 170 times since it was launched on January 1, 2020, and its notifications can be sent by emergency management officials, warning of severe weather or when there is an imminent threat to life. The alerts have been valuable in warning the public and have also prompted the public to provide tips.

The Ontario Provincial Police have also begun using Alert Ready to keep residents safe and notify the public about AMBER Alerts. The system has been used four times in Ontario since July 2020.

European missing persons organization membership grows, undertakes work on long-term missing cases

The Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP) in Europe has grown to include more than 80 members in 30 countries. The network is part of AMBER Alert Europe and recently added eight new law enforcement members from Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, North-Macedonia, and Serbia. The PEN-MP is the official European missing persons police network, consisting of police experts in the field of missing persons.

The PEN-MP is also connecting organizations in different countries on a project to analyze cold- and long-term missing persons cases. The network will work with different police academies and universities all over the world. Four disciplinary teams are now analyzing an attempted child homicide and long-term missing person’s case in Germany. More cases are expected to be analyzed in 2021.

Digital conference trains European officers on missing persons cases

Slovenia hosted a digital conference on missing persons cases for PEN-MP officers on November 3, 2020. Law enforcement officers shared a missing person case in Poland and offered insight on the correlation between online grooming and missing children.

Organizers hope the event will help different European countries to better connect when a missing person case crosses national boundaries. “We all know that law enforcement cooperation is of the utmost importance when it comes to missing person cases, not only nationally but also across borders,” said Mr. Jože Senica, Deputy Director General of the Slovenian National Police.

AMBER Alert Europe teams up with organization that advocates for child sex abuse victims

AMBER Alert Europe is now partnering with the WePROTECT Global Alliance, an international organization working to stop child sexual abuse and exploitation. The partnership follows up AMBER Alert Europe’s 2020 #DontBeAnEasyCatch campaign, which warned children about online grooming. “Awareness of online child sexual abuse and exploitation is still lacking. With this partnership, we can strengthen the efforts to better protect children in Europe,” said Frank Hoen, Chairman and Founder, AMBER Alert Europe.