Child Abduction Alerts
What is the Child Abduction Alert?
The Child Abduction Alert system has been introduced to help police quickly locate children who have been abducted and return them home safely.
The alert has been developed by the Queensland Police Service and the Police Minister's office with assistance from the broadcast media.
Queensland is the first state to begin the phased implementation of this system for the urgent broadcast of information about suspected child abductions.
Similar alert systems are used in the United States (known as Amber Alert), Canada and the United Kingdom.
When will the alert be activated?
The alert will be activated by police when:
- a missing child under the age of 17 has been abducted;
- the child is at risk of serious harm or death;
- there is sufficient descriptive information available to make the alert effective; and
- an urgent public broadcast will assist location and safe recovery of the child.
How does the alert work?
The system enlists community assistance to help find and safely recover children and apprehend offenders.
Under the system, police will urgently notify the media and provide them with details about an abducted child or children, where they were last seen and other important information such as a description of the offender and any vehicle involved.
The media will then break into normal transmission with a dedicated alert tone and broadcast these details every 15 minutes until the alert is cancelled, instead of waiting for the next news bulletin.
The alert will ask anyone with information that could help police to solve the abduction to immediately call triple zero or an alternative information number.
If the child or children are not located within three to four hours the alert will be cancelled and further media broadcasts will be conducted through normal news services.
The alert system will initially involve only radio stations but will be expanded to include television and other potential stakeholders who could distribute the information such as taxi companies, buses, Gold Lotto agents and Queensland Transport.