Rapid reaction in child abduction cases is crucial with the likelihood of minors being found safe decreasing with time, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said this afternoon.

He was speaking during the launch of the Amber alert system, a new system to alert the public about missing children.

The Amber Alert System allows the police to quickly involve the public in the search for missing children using an array of available media, from TV to variable-message road signs, public transport, text messages, and social media, among others. 

The local authorities have teamed up with the international NGO Amber Alert Europe, which is already used in the Netherlands, Slovakia and Luxembourg.

“A missing child is a nightmare for any parent. Our number might be low in Malta but this is not about the numbers but about being equipped to deal with even the one case,” the minister said during the launch at the police headquarters.

Through the service, he went on, a number of educational campaigns would also be launched to push for prevention as well as a way to educate parents in case children get lost.

Around 250,000 children are reported missing in the EU each year. In 76 per cent of cases in which a child is abducted and killed, the child is murdered within three hours of the abduction.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us