Child Abduction Alert System Launched

More than three years since being given the go-ahead a long awaited Amber Alert system for abducted children has been rolled out across Ireland.

The Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) Alert will be triggered if gardai believe a child has been abducted and that there is an immediate and serious risk to his or her health or welfare.

Launched on International Missing Children's Day, senior gardai said the system has the potential to save the life of a child.

More than 130 youngsters who went missing in Ireland between 2007 and 2011 are still unaccounted for.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said the aim of the scheme is to get the public's help in child abduction cases.

Road signs, the internet and media will be used to highlight cases.

Once activated, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will also be informed, the Commissioner said.

"In cases where an abducted child has been brought into or taken out of the jurisdiction the services of Interpol will be utilised," he added.

Based on the US Amber Alert, former justice minister Dermot Ahern first signed off on the rapid response scheme in April 2009.

Police forces across the UK, including the PSNI, have been operating a similar system since 2003 called Child Rescue Alert.


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