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Principale » Police partner with Facebook for child abduction alerts

Police partner with Facebook for child abduction alerts

22 Juin 2017

There are about 20,000 reports of minors going missing in Australia every year and Ms Vacher said, while every missing child case matters, police will only turn to the system when there is a high risk of death or injury and they have useful information.

Australia's AMBER Alerts will launch with a call out for information on the cold case of Joanne Ratcliffe in 1973.

Ambassador Maura Harty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) said that for two years ICMEC has been working with Facebook to introduce rapid emergency child alert systems around the world so that communities can respond quickly when a child goes missing.

"The Facebook AMBER Alert capability will give us far greater reach into the community to appeal for urgent help to safely locate children who are at significant and imminent risk".

Facebook revealed in 2015 it would use the alert system across its social media platform.

FACEBOOK is teaming up with Australian law enforcement to push out a 24-hour AMBER Alert system that will amplify existing broadcast channels across the social network to help find and locate missing or abducted children.

"While the system streamlines protocols already in place, it is exclusively used in cases of an abducted child, however the element of abduction may not alone be enough to warrant an AMBER Alert".

The Amber alert will then pop up in a user's news feed if Facebook knows they are within 160 kilometres of the search zone.

"It's not about the quantity of people that get this alert; it is about the quality".

THE State Government has announced the introduction of a new Facebook system to assist in locating abducted children.

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Users will need to be in the search zone to receive alerts, and it can be changed if there is a credible sighting.

"We look at a number of signals: things that users give to Facebook when they sign up, they may say what city they are in", Ms Vacher said.

There's no opting out of the alerts either, so if you're not bothered you either have to scroll past or close them down.

"Most people in the United States only see two or three a year, in some of the countries they have done a couple of alerts, in some none".

Ms Vacher used the example of baby Victoria in Canada, who was rescued after a member of the public noticed a police alert on Facebook and recognised the suspect's picture.

"It was our job when one of these happened, we had to be on a plane in three hours to get to wherever the child was", she said.

She's hoping the Facebook alerts will one day "put that team out of business".

"Getting information out while the child is in a vehicle and people know the licence plate and see it, that can save someone's life".

With approximately 15-million Australians on Facebook, the AFP strongly believes this application will prove to be instrumental in helping find and return abducted children.

Police partner with Facebook for child abduction alerts