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McCanns delighted at ‘Maddie alert’ 



Original Source: SUN: MONDAY 05 APRIL 2010
By ANTONELLA LAZZERI  Published: 05 Apr 2010

THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann were "delighted" yesterday as police announced plans to put the whole of Britain on alert if a child is abducted.

Kate and Gerry, both 41, have campaigned for the public emergency system - which could see radio and TV shows interrupted - since their daughter vanished in 2007.

The Child Response Alert would see a youngster's description and information such as a suspect's car registration flash up on motorway boards in an appeal for help. Details could eventually be sent to millions of mobile phones.

A similar system in the US has saved 400 kids in the past seven years - 80 per cent within 72 hours of being snatched.

Yesterday, the McCanns said: "We are delighted and relieved that this system is being introduced. The first hours after a child goes missing are crucial."

Madeleine - now six - vanished from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Her parents, of Rothley, Leics, saw the US Amber Alert system on a trip to Washington. It is named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996.

Kate and Gerry went to Brussels to beg the EU for a UK version. Some 100,000 kids a year are reported missing in Britain, but most are found quickly.

The alert system - which will link to police in Europe - would only be used in a few cases where a child is believed to have been kidnapped and in danger.

It will launch on May 25 - International Missing Children's Day - and be co-ordinated by the National Police Improvement Agency.

NPIA Chief Constable Peter Neyroud called it a "powerful tool" which will bring together police, media and the public within hours.

He said: "These are often vital hours which could mean the difference between life and death."


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