Netherlands to stop AMBER Alerts and start using different public notifications
Law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands plan to replace AMBER Alert and Missing Child Alert notifications in July with a separate citizen warning system called Burgernet. Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus said the change will create a more coherent, centralized service for warnings about criminal suspects as well as missing adults and children.
AMBER Alert Europe President and Founder Frank Hoen believes the switch is a mistake. “When the term ‘AMBER Alert’ is mentioned people know that a missing child is in danger,” he said. “We are gravely worried that with the disappearance of the AMBER Alert, the collaboration between the public and the police will also vanish.”
AMBER Alert Netherlands estimates 95 percent of the Dutch public knows about the purpose of the AMBER Alert. Since November 2008, the Netherlands issued 30 AMBER Alerts and 1,010 Missing Child Alerts. The missing children were found safe in 94 percent of cases, often with the assistance of the public.
Canadian man charged for nearly causing false AMBER Alert
A 49-year-old Fergus, Ontario, man is facing multiple charges for calling police to report his car had been stolen with his child inside. Officers say they found the man’s vehicle and the child after putting out a notice on social media, and in the midst of preparing an AMBER Alert.
Canadian police chiefs endorse new missing child search network
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is endorsing a new search network to help in high-risk missing children investigations. The Missing Children Society of Canada’s (MCSC) Child Search Network provides police with the ability to share information and collaborate with one another and the public to help find high-risk missing children who do not meet the AMBER Alert criteria. The system has a database with real-time details about missing children cases. A date for release of the network is pending.
AMBER Alert Europe teams with company to identify online threats to children
AMBER Alert Europe has joined ActiveFence to scan millions of online chats to identify online threats to protect children from sexual abuse, human trafficking, and other endangerment. The system proactively monitors numerous online platforms to identify, track, and stop online threats.
Croatia partners with AMBER Alert Europe to protect missing children
AMBER Alert Europe welcomed the Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Croatia (CNZD) in February 2021, making it the 41st official organization from 25 countries to aid in the search for missing children in Europe. The CZND is a leading organization in Croatia devoted to preventing the disappearance of children and providing support to families in crisis situations.
International cold case organization now helping European families with missing children
The International Cold Case Analysis Project is teaming up with the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP) of AMBER Alert Europe. The collaboration will also include Locate International, the Police Academy of Lower Saxony, and several British and Australian Universities. The project enables young police officers and students to establish a close link between theory and practice in cold cases. The goal is to help families across Europe find closure after the disappearance of a loved one. The project has already help bring in leads about a 1991 murder in Germany.