Saving Missing Children

AMBER Alert Europe Foundation

AMBER Alert Europe is a foundation that assists in saving missing children at risk by connecting law enforcement with other police experts and with the public across Europe. AMBER Alert Europe advocates that one missing child is one too many and aims for zero missing children in Europe.

Network of knowledge and expertise

AMBER Alert Europe brings together 38 official organisations, public authorities and business entities from 23 countries. The foundation actively contributes to the EU and national policy debate on saving missing children. AMBER Alert Europe also officially facilitates the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP), so far consisting of over 70 experts from 24 countries, and the Task Force on AMBER Alerts. The goals of AMBER Alert Europe are backed by 465 Members of the European Parliament: most successful Written Declaration since 2011.

AMBER Alert Europe is a neutral platform. It operates either evidence based (scientifically proven) or expert based. All activities are executed with respect for the privacy of missing persons and data protection laws.

Background

In 2008, AMBER Alert Netherlands was launched. With a reach of more than 12 million Dutch citizens, AMBER Alert Netherlands quickly became an example of how citizen sourcing can work; in 94 percent of the cases, the child was successfully found.

The creation of AMBER Alert Europe

Inspired by the success of the Dutch AMBER Alert, the AMBER Alert Europe foundation was launched in 2013 with the following goal:

  • To be a life-saving factor in abductions or disappearances of children throughout Europe;
  • To undertake any further actions necessary related to achieving or advancing the above-mentioned goal, in the broadest sense.

Police Expert Network on Missing Persons

The Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP), founded by the AMBER Alert Europe foundation, is officially recognised by the Council of the European Union and all member states. The PEN-MP is the first and only official European missing persons police network consisting of police experts in the field of missing persons from all over Europe. So far, the PEN-MP consists of over 70 law enforcement experts from 24 countries. Goal of the PEN-MP is to bring together law enforcement experts in the field of missing persons, specifically children.

In order to save more missing persons across Europe, members can quickly contact and consult each other about missing person cases. The PEN-MP also provides specialist support, advice, and training to its members.

Official recognition by the Council of the EU

The PEN-MP was announced in 2016 under the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At its launch, the Dutch Presidency called on every Member State to appoint a national contact for the network. In support of the Dutch initiative, a majority of 465 Members of the European Parliament from all EU Member States signed AMBER Alert Europe’s Written Declaration for better European cooperation on saving the lives of missing children.

The PEN-MP is now officially recognised by the Council of the European Union with its formal affiliation to the Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP).

Recognised by The Netherlands Fundraising Regulator

The Netherlands Fundraising Regulator (CBF) is an independent foundation which has been monitoring fundraising by charities since 1925. The CBF’s task is to promote trustworthy fundraising and expenditure by reviewing fundraising organisations and giving information and advice to government institutions and the public.

Team

AMBER Alert Europe’s team is composed of people that are serviced by AMBER Alert Europe’s sponsors, as well as volunteers. The team is primarily responsible for administrative and logistical support of the PEN-MP, including its Public Affairs. The foundation also facilitates the PEN-MP’s expert training sessions and supports, manages and supervises the EU-funded PEN-MP projects.

These activities are strictly separated from the operational police activities of the PEN-MP. The exchange of operational police information takes place through the official channels ( such as SIS, SIENA, and INTERPOL), also respecting the EU legal framework plus relevant legislation, directives and regulations relating to privacy and data protection

Julie-Bellinkx-sq

Julie Bellinkx  

Community & Communications Coordinator

Profile: As Community & Communications Coordinator, Julie is our most important link between the community and the organisation. She is responsible for all internal and external communication.

Lodewijk-Buschkens-sq

Lodewijk Buschkens  

Sr. Public Affairs Manager

Profile: As senior public affairs manager in Brussels, Lodewijk supports the positioning and advocacy of AMBER Alert Europe towards the European Union. He has over 20 years’ experience in European Public Affairs.

Charlie Hedges

Charlie Hedges MBE  

European Training Coordinator – Police Expert Network on Missing Persons/AMBER Alert Europe

Profile: Charlie is a renowned UK specialist in the field of missing children. He provides specialist support and training in the area of missing children. Working at the UK Police force for over 30 years, he has helped to shape policy and strategy in this area. Charlie has worked for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), and the UK Police Forces.

Linda van Oppen

Linda van Oppen  

Operations Manager & Legal

Profile: As Head of Operations of the AMBER Alert Europe foundation, Linda is involved in all aspects of the day-to-day management, while working tirelessly to further develop and expand all contacts relating to the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons.

Richard Renkens

Richard Renkens  

Technical Support Coordinator

Profile: Richard is responsible for the development and maintenance of the AMBER Alert Europe website. He is also the technical support coordinator for all European countries who have a national AMBER Alert system, or are in the process of implementing one.

Antoinette Vlieger

LL.M. Dr. Antoinette Vlieger  

Legal Counsel / Human Rights Activist

Profile: Antoinette is a lawyer with a background in human rights and human trafficking research. She provides legal counsel for the AMBER Alert Europe foundation.

Frits Vos

Frits Vos  

Chief Technical Officer

Profile: Frits is in charge of the design and implementation of national AMBER Alert systems. He oversees the overall technical strategy of the AMBER Alert Europe foundation.

Public Benefit Organisation

AMBER Alert Europe is recognized by the Dutch government as “Public Benefit Organisation” (“ANBI”) RSIN: 852414183. Address Stichting AMBER Alert Europe Peter Treckpoelstraat 4, 6191 VK Beek, The Netherlands.