When a child alert system is activated law enforcement agencies rapidly disseminate information about the abducted child and their abductors to the public via media broadcasters. The aim of this study is to examine officers’ opinions and experiences of using child alert systems in cases from the Netherlands, UK, Czech Republic and Poland. 14 participants in roles related to the use of alert systems and where the system had been used were approached by the researchers to ask if they would be willing to participate. The findings show that child alert systems have the potential to lead to the quick and safe recovery of an abducted child, as well as other important benefits, such as support the investigative process, improve the relationship between law enforcement and the child’s relatives, and meet public expectations. The study also raises areas of concern, where the use of child alert systems may challenge the investigative efforts in terms of the management of calls from the public, volunteers and search efforts and added public scrutiny.
|Publisher||University of Portsmouth|
|Commissioning body||AMBER Alert Europe|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2016|