Child Rescue Alert

Child Rescue Alert logoChild Rescue Alert (CRA) is a partnership between the police, the media and the public that seeks the assistance of the public where a child has been abducted and it is feared that they may be at risk of serious harm. The aim is to quickly engage the entire community via media (TV, internet and radio) in the search for the child, offender or any specified vehicle through reports of sightings to the police.

It is a unique scheme whereby police have a pre-agreement with media that they will send out urgent information to the public to help recover an abducted child. The intention of activating Child Rescue Alert is to recover the child unharmed. The key aim is to quickly recover a child at serious risk of harm. The child’s safety is paramount and arrest of the offender is an ancillary benefit.

There are four criteria to be met when issuing a Child Rescue Alert:

  • The child is under 18 years old; AND
  • There is a reasonable belief that the child has been abducted or kidnapped (abducted includes being taken under the influence of a third party), AND
  • There is a reasonable belief that the child is in imminent danger of serious harm or death, AND
  • There is sufficient information available to enable the public to assist Police in locating the child.

All criteria must be met before a launch can be authorised.

Gloucestershire Constabulary participates in the Child Rescue Alert scheme, with support from our local media. A typical appeal will include the description of the child, a description of the suspected abductor and any vehicle they are driving, together with location details.

Alerts will always carry the action line number 0300 2000 333 or 0300 200 0200, which people should call with information about the disappearance or sightings.

CRA has been available as an operational tool to all UK police forces since 2005. However, there was no national coordination of the scheme. In recognition of the seriousness of the issue, the National Policing Improvement Agency's Missing Person's Bureau was asked, in 2009, to review its operation and provide more coordinated support to forces. CRA was therefore officially relaunched in May 2010.

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