On April 3, AMBER Alert Netherlands and the Dutch National Police have performed a successful nationwide test to assess the operational readiness of the Dutch national AMBER Alert system. During the test, which occurs twice every year, a simulated AMBER Alert is sent out, reaching millions of citizens and thousands of partner organisations. The Netherlands is the first European country to publicly check its child alert system on a regular basis.

“When a child goes missing, it is vital that a country’s national child alert system does exactly what it is supposed to, disseminate information about the missing child quickly and effectively to the public”, says Frank Hoen, founder and chairman of AMBER Alert Europe. “In order to achieve this, it is crucial that countries check the proper functioning of their child alert system routinely. This means technical testing, as well as (re)training of staff operating the alert.”

Without habitual testing, a child alert system might not even work at all when it is needed. Hoen: “A system might work flawlessly when first introduced, but as time passes, more people sign up and technology advances, this might not be the case anymore. We encourage every country to follow the Netherlands’ example and publicly test their child alert systems consistently”, concludes Hoen.

For more information on the Dutch nationwide test, see: https://www.amberalert.nl/testbericht/