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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Jo-Ann Miller

    Queensland police launch Australian-first Amber Alert system

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Jo-Ann Miller

    Monday, September 28, 2015

    Queensland police launch Australian-first Amber Alert system

    Queensland will become the first Australian state to launch an Amber Alert system to help locate abducted or high-risk missing children in imminent danger, Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller announced today.

    Minister Miller said the introduction of Amber Alerts to replace the existing Child Abduction Alert (CAA) system would further cement Queensland’s reputation as a nationwide leader and innovator.

    “Back in 2004, the Queensland Police Service introduced the CAA system to Queensland – the first of its kind in Australia. Today we continue to lead the nation with the rollout of Amber Alerts in their place,” Minister Miller said.

    "Following its prominent use in the United States, Amber Alert has become an internationally-recognised public alert system. The term has also been informally applied to CAAs here in Queensland from time to time.

    “The name changes reflects recent changes to the alert criteria to include both abducted and high-risk missing children.”

    Minister Miller said Amber Alerts would be issued by police when they needed urgent public assistance.

    “When an Amber Alert is issued, it means that time is critical and a missing child is at imminent risk of death or serious harm,” Minister Miller said.

    “Fortunately, child abductions and suspicious missing children cases are rare in Queensland but it is important that the QPS continues to strive for world-best practices, particularly when it comes to the safety of our children.

    “Sadly though, many of the 20 CAAs issued over the past 11 years have involved offenders known to the child. This further highlights how Amber Alerts will be a key tool for police investigating domestic and family violence cases.”

    Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new Amber Alert policy would provide officers with more flexibility when considering if the circumstances of a missing child met the criteria for an alert.

    “While Amber Alerts will only be activated in extreme cases, the policy change enables officers to initiate an alert if a child is missing in suspicious circumstances rather than the alert being reserved purely for cases where there is evidence of an abduction,” Commissioner Stewart said.

    “In the past, CAAs which were broadcast to the public through the media and social media have led to terrific results where information from the community was pivotal in reuniting abducted children with their loved ones.

    “We want that valuable partnership between police and the community to continue and we hope that the public will continue to assist and share Amber Alerts in the same way they did CAAs.”

    The public and the media will notice no change to how an alert is issued apart from the name change and new branding on social media.

    Amber Alerts will continue to be issued to the public through mainstream media, secondary alerting partners as well as QPS social media channels and alert functions.

    Minister Miller said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to keeping Queensland children safe.

    “We want to make sure that our kids are safe whether they’re at home, at school or out in the community. Amber Alerts are just one way we’re delivering on that commitment.”

    Amber Alerts were in memory of Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old child abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. Since that time, it has become an internationally-recognised term for a child abduction alert.

    [ENDS] September 28 

    Media contact:          Brent Davidson (Minister Miller’s Office) – 0438 696 185 

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