Child Rescue Alert Service – be alerted when a child has disappeared

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Child Rescue AlertThe Child Rescue Alert Service (CRA) is a partnership between the police, the media and the public that seeks the assistance of the public where a child has been abducted and it is feared that they may be at risk of serious harm.

Last month, news of the abduction and rape of a teenage girl in Oxford made national headlines. The 14 year-old, walking to school, was forced into a car on a busy street in daylight. Whilst incidents like this are thankfully rare in the UK, they are very distressing when they do happen. If your child went missing wouldn’t you want the world to stop and look for them?

Child Rescue Alert is a nationwide system, run by the National Crime Agency, the charity Missing People and technology company Groupcall. It has the potential to save a child’s life in the event that a child is missing and believed to be at imminent risk of serious harm or death. Registration is free and takes just minutes to complete, online or by text. By taking 30 seconds to register, anyone could save a child’s life.

Child Rescue Alert aims to activate a fast time response to help find an abducted child before they come to any harm. There are four key criteria to be met before an Alert is issued:

– A child apparently under the age of 18 is missing
– There is reasonable belief that the child is in imminent danger of serious harm or death
– There is a reasonable belief that the child has been kidnapped, abducted or taken under the influence of a third party
– There is sufficient information available to enable the public to assist the police to locate the child.

A typical appeal will include the description of the child, a description of the suspected abductor and any vehicle they are driving, together with location details.

You can register to receive alerts at www.childrescuealert.org.uk. There you give your details including the postcode of your home and workplace, so you can be sure to receive alerts relevant to the area where you live and work. The Child Rescue Alert Service will then send alerts to you by text and email if you are registered in the relevant area. They only expect about 4 to 6 Child Rescue Alerts to be issued each year, and not all of these will be nationwide.

You can also register by texting the word HERO, together with your postcode, to 85050. If you text to register for Child Rescue Alert, you will be charged your standard text message rate as specified by your network provider. If you register on the website as outlined in the paragraph above, it is free. Any Child Rescue Alerts sent via text are free to receive, regardless of how you registered.

Stephen Fry is the face of the campaign. He says: “I am delighted to be the animated face of this campaign as I believe that Child Rescue Alert should be a national institution – something for everyone to find out about and sign up to. It reminds me of a fire extinguisher – everyone should have one ready to use at a moment’s notice but we all hope that we will never need it.”

The Child Rescue Alert Service is also supported by some large organisation including Royal Mail, Facebook, Google and the Press Association.

Please sign up today.

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