Best practice: Six-month-old Dutch baby found thanks to cross-border AMBER Alert

On Monday, February 26th, the Dutch police issued a national AMBER Alert for a 6-month-old girl from Eersel, the Netherlands. The child, who was placed in foster care, was violently taken by her biological parents. Because police feared they had crossed the border, the alert was also shared with police and citizens in Belgium and Germany. A vigilant citizen saw the AMBER Alert, which led to the quick recovery of the girl in a German town near the Netherlands. The baby was found in good health.

Successfully recovered

AMBER Alert Europe’s Police Expert Network on Missing Children and all AMBER Alert partners in Germany were immediately informed about the case. The AMBER Alert led to dozens of valuable tips. One of these tips ultimately led to the baby’s retrieval in a German vacation resort in Bad Bentheim near the Dutch border.

Best practice: Cross border Child Alert Poland- Germany

On 15 April 2015, the Polish Police issued a Child Alert for a 10 year old girl from Szczecin, Poland, close to the German border. The Polish Police closely cooperated with the German Police, who have found the girl safe and well in Germany.

Spreading information across borders

The Polish Police had strong indications that the child had crossed the German border. In close cooperation with the German authorities and the NGO Initiative Vermisste Kinder, the Polish Child Alert was also spread in Germany. Via social media and large screens at railway stations German citizens were asked to be on the lookout for the missing child. Additionally, the alert was also disseminated by AMBER Alert Europe, AMBER Alert Netherlands and  AMBER Alert Slovakia.

Best practice: French Alerte Enlèvement as disseminated in cross- border context without abduction being proven

On the 23rd of April 2015, the girl was found a hundred kilometers from Sancy. She knocked on the door of a doctor, who immediately recognized the child from the AMBER Alert (France BleuLe Monde). Prosecutor Le Clair reported that the AMBER Alert could have been the reason the abductor released the child (Huffington PostLe Monde).

No proven abduction

French prosecutor Yves Le Clair told AFP that the French authorities decided to launch the alert, although there was no certainty for a proven abduction (Le Parisien).

Cross border AMBER Alert

According to Le Figaro, the French AMBER Alert was not only spread in France, but also to police in neighboring countries Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. “For us, the border does not exist”, said Le Clair (France 3 Lorraine).

Best practice: Successful Dutch-German AMBER Alert

On June 15th, 2013, an AMBER Alert was issued in the Netherlands after a 4-year old boy was abducted in Groningen (near the German border). As the abductor took the boy away in a car, the German police and Initiative Vermisste Kinder were warned.

Successfully recovered

Thanks to the help of Initiative Vermisste Kinder the Dutch AMBER Alert was spread in Germany. Next to the 1.9 million Dutch citizens who helped look for Jayden, hundreds of thousands of Germans saw Jayden’s picture. The little boy was rescued by police a mere two hours after the AMBER Alert was issued

Best practice: First cross border AMBER Alert in Netherlands/ Belgium/ Germany

On May 8th 2013 the first cross border child alert was issued in Europe. An AMBER Alert was issued in the Netherlands after two small Dutch boys named Julian (7) and Ruben (9) went missing. Their father had committed suicide. The boys were nowhere to be found. Their lives feared to be in acute danger.

European AMBER Alert

The Dutch police had reasons to believe the children were taken to Germany or Belgium and requested a European AMBER Alert. The alert disseminated by AMBER Alert Europe (EU), AMBER Alert (NL), ChildFocus (BE) and Initiative Vermisste Kinder (DE).

Sadly, the bodies of the boys were found a few weeks later. It is assumed their father took their lives before he committed suicide.

Extensive media attention in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany

1.95 million people in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany were instantly informed via mobile phones, social media, Apps, etc, (1.6 million in the Netherlands). The boys’ photo was displayed on large screens throughout the Netherlands, in the Belgian province of Limburg and in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE).