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AMBER Alert Netherlands exclusively distributes AMBER Alerts and information about endangered missing children. The police only issue an AMBER Alert when the life of an abducted or missing child is in imminent danger (AMBER Alert) or when there are substantial indications that the child is at high risk of harm and/or in immediate danger, and rapid action is required (endangered missing child).

Source: NOS (original Dutch article).

AMBER Alerts

An AMBER Alert is a nationwide emergency message that is issued when the Dutch National Police fear the life of an abducted or missing child is in imminent danger.

Criteria

The LBVP of the Dutch National Police is responsible for issuing AMBER Alerts, for which they have strict criteria:

  • The child is (very likely) abducted by an unknown person or persons or the child is missing and its life is in imminent danger;
  • The victim is a minor (under 18 years of age);
  • There is enough information about the victim to increase the chances of the child being found by means of an AMBER Alert, such as a photo, information about the abductor or the  vehicle used during the abduction;
  • The AMBER Alert is issued as soon as possible after the abduction or disappearance of the child.

Media bomb

When an AMBER Alert is issued, the whole country transforms into one big missing children’s poster. A picture of the missing child is instantly visible everywhere: on TVs, highway signs, billboards and on thousands of websites. AMBER Alerts are also shared via SMSe-mailTwitterFacebook, apps and TV- and radio broadcasting, highly increasing the chances of a positive outcome.

Endangered missing children

2-3 times a year a national AMBER Alert is issued. About a dozen times a year parts of the system are used to help find endangered missing children. A missing child is considered endangered when there are substantial indications that the child is at high risk of harm and/or in immediate danger, and rapid action is required. The police can then decide to inform citizens about the case.

For endangered missing children, parts of the AMBER Alert system are used to attract citizens’ attention. Information about these cases can be shared nationally or can be sent to specific regions or target groups (e.g. railway personnel or the transport sector).

Bereik van een alert bepalen door middel van geotargeting

Examples of how the system can be used in case of an endangered missing child alert:

AMBER Alerts & Endangered missing children

AMBER Alert Netherlands exclusively distributes AMBER Alerts and information about endangered missing children. The police only issue an AMBER Alert when the life on an abducted or missing child is in imminent danger (AMBER Alert) or when there are substantial indications that the child is at high risk of harm and/or in immediate danger, and rapid action is required (endangered missing child).

Missing children

Annually, thousands of children go missing. Most children are retrieved quickly. In case of a missing child, the police assess to which extent the child is in danger. Following this assessment, they decide how to act. AMBER Alert Netherlands exclusively distributes AMBER Alerts and information about endangered missing children. The police only issue an AMBER Alert when a child’s life is in imminent danger (AMBER Alert) or when there are substantial indications that the child is at high risk of harm and/or in immediate danger, and rapid action is required (endangered missing child).

Children often run away from home or are abducted by one of their parents. When the life of these children is not in danger, the police use other means to draw the attention of the public, such as posting information about the case on www.politie.nl, Burgernet or regionally targeted social media.