Police Scotland officers and staff are signing up for Child Rescue Alert mobile text notifications to boost the scheme’s aim to have one million people registered.
Child Rescue Alert wants one million people to receive free alerts which are activated when a child is suspected to have been abducted or their life is believed to be at immediate risk. The system is based on fast alerts as every second counts, every pair of eyes helps – and public support is vital.
All Police Scotland mobile telephones have been registered for the alerts. The service is also encouraging officers and staff to sign up their own phones as well.
Police Scotland activated Child Rescue Alert following the disappearance of Mikaeel Kular in January 2014. There have been three activations in the UK since the scheme – which is supported by the charity Missing People and the National Crime Agency - began.
John Hawkins, Assistant Chief Constable Service and Protection, said: “Child Rescue Alert is an excellent scheme which has the potential to really make a difference if we need to find a missing child quickly.
“In Police Scotland we work with a range of partners including Missing People and the National Crime Agency to ensure that we prepare as best we can to track a child who is in immediate danger and to return them home safely.
“We have approximately 2700 mobile telephones in use across Police Scotland which have been registered with Child Rescue Alert. In addition our officers and staff will have the opportunity to register their own phones as well. This will mean that vital pieces of information which could result in a child being located will be available quickly.
“If a child is abducted or goes missing in circumstances where we think that they may be at risk of imminent harm, it is vital that as many people as possible are aware quickly in order that they can be vigilant wherever they are. I believe that we in Police Scotland have a central role to play in raising awareness about the scheme and also in encouraging members of the public to sign up for these alerts. I have no doubt that if our communities are aware that a child may be in danger, there is a higher chance of that child’s life being saved.”
Similar systems around the world have helped in the search for hundreds of children. More than 374,000 people are currently registered to receive targeted Child Rescue Alerts, which are issued by the charity Missing People on request of the police.
You can register for the alerts for free by logging ontowww.childrescuealert.org.uk or you can text HERO and your postcode to 85080. Registration costs a standard network text message rate. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Customer care 0208 392 4571. Once registered, it is then free to receive Child Rescue Alerts.