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WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch Groups can play crucial role in search for missing children

WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch Groups can play a significant role in spreading information about missing children. When police ask the public for help in the search for a missing child, Neighbourhood Watch Group administrators can quickly share information about that child with the members in their group app. This contributes to the local search for a missing child, even across borders.

WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch Groups are app groups in which persons from the same area can share information about burglaries, suspicious individuals or other possibly alarming situations with each other. These WhatsApp groups can also be used to activate people living in the area where a child has gone missing to join the search. This is already being done in the Netherlands, for example, where WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch Group administrators can now directly share missing child alerts from the AMBER Alert app in their respective app groups.

Information crossing borders
With 37.5% of the EU population living in border areas, ensuring that information about missing children is shared across borders is equally essential. Because of these WhatsApp groups, everyone in the close vicinity of a missing child, even if they live on the other side of the border, can be on the lookout.

AMBER Alert Europe encourages administrators of WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch Groups across the EU to share information about missing children. But only upon request of the police. Once the child has been found, administrators are urged to delete the information to protect the child’s privacy.

For a list of official law enforcement related websites publishing missing children cases click here.

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