Why it’s important to sign up for Child Rescue Alerts now!
A child is reported missing every 3 minutes in the UK. Let that sink in: Every. Three. Minutes. The chilling statistic, from The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, a command of the National Crime Agency, is even more pertinent this month, as the 25th of May marks International Missing Children’s Day.
May also marks the anniversary of Madeline McCann’s disappearance; nine years after she went missing, her mother, Kate has urged people to sign up for Child Rescue Alerts (CRAs), a system of text or email alerts sent if a child is abducted or goes missing, which we are humbled to provide the technology behind.
Undoubtedly, it would be any parent’s worst nightmare for their child to go missing, the fear that they ‘may’ be missing is enough to make your blood run cold.
It’s incredibly important for parents to consider the series of events ahead of any potential disappearance. Kidscape.org lists a number of tell-tale signs that could indicate a child could be in danger, including whether your child is acting in any of the following ways: do they seem sad, angry, distressed or anxious during or after using the Internet or mobile? Or do they become secretive about computer or mobile activities?
Then, we advise them to follow what we call, ‘The rule of 3’; this means ruling out all other possibilities before contacting the police. Firstly, determine three possible locations that your child might be likely to be and rule these out first. These could be places like youth clubs, popular cafes or sports venues. It’s also a good idea to contact three of your child’s closest friends, or their parents, to ensure that their whereabouts is not known by someone close to you already.
If after steps one and two have been addressed, and you are still concerned for their whereabouts and safety, then it is time to take immediate action! Take advantage of all platforms including email, SMS and social media to spread the message as widely and as quickly as possible. The police have determined a list of criteria for those children qualifying for the CRA system so once you’ve spoken to them, they’ll know whether a CRA should be sent out, and will issue it immediately, if necessary.
Every second is vital when a child goes missing. The more public registrations there are, the more likely we are to find the missing child; it’s as simple as that. Signing up couldn’t be easier; all you have to do is go to www.childrescuealert.org.uk or to download the app, search ‘Child Rescue Alert’ in the App Store (available free for Apple, Android and Windows).
Remember, every three minutes. So, what are you waiting for?