Facebook is partnering up with Child Rescue Alert, UK’s missing child alert system, to increase the reach of missing child alerts. When the National Crime Agency (NCA) deems that a child’s life is in imminent danger, a post about the case will appear in the news feeds of Facebook users who are located within the area where officials are searching. After the Netherlands, the UK is the second European country to team up with Facebook to save the lives of missing children.
In June, Facebook entered into a similar partnership with AMBER Alert Europe, reaching its Dutch users. “I am delighted that the UK is strengthening its child alert system even further by partnering up with Facebook. Hopefully many more countries will follow”, says AMBER Alert Europe’s founder and president Frank Hoen.
How it works
If a Child Rescue Alert is activated and you are within the vicinity of the incident, the alert will appear on your Facebook page high up in your news feed. The alert may include a photo of the missing child, along with a description, location of the disappearance and any other available information that can be provided to aid in the search. People on Facebook can then share it with friends to spread the word.
Alerts can be issued locally, regionally or nationally, so police can focus their resources based on the best available intelligence about a child’s whereabouts. “The speed at which a large number of people can be reached and the opportunities for targeting the search area through Facebook will be valuable tools for police forces in the event of issuing a Child Rescue Alert”, says NCA’s Sherri McAra.
The partnership was also made possible by AMBER Alert Europe’s member Groupcall, who provided the technology behind the Child Rescue Alert.