Dutch Nationwide AMBER Alert system

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

This is a worthy initiative but the press release was a bit short on details. We spoke to Frank Hoen, President & CEO, Netpresenter, whom has been the driving force behind this to date and asked for more information and were told, pretty much, that it is all ‘early days’.

We’d like to see this successful, but from an out of home perspective it’s down to the early DOOHM industry association members to help drive this – Librium.tv are likely too be the first to support it we believe BUT POSTV (aka Neo Advertising), Media Landscape, ON, KPN and the other big Dutch networks – including of course the 2,500 screens at Schiphol airport need to get involved!

For more details in English and Dutch, take a look at www.amberalertnederland.nl

Dutch nationwide AMBER Alert system increases the chance missing or abducted children are found

The Dutch police starts using a new innovative, cross media alert system for urgent missing children and child abductions (children whose life or health is assumed to be endangered): AMBER Alert Netherlands.

With this joint initiative of software company Netpresenter and the Netherlands Police Agency (Klpd), the whole of the Netherlands can be immediately alerted when a child goes missing or is abducted, by means of pop-ups on PCs, large advertising (Digital Signage) screens, e-mail, SMS text messages, Instant messenger, RSS newsfeeds en website Alerts (Flash). The goal of the new system is to make use of the general public’s eyes and ears in urgent missing children cases, to help trace the child more quickly.

AMBER Alert gives the Dutch police the tools to instantly alert the whole of the Netherlands in case of an urgent abduction or disappearance of a child. The broad range of media involved makes it easy for any Dutch citizen, organization or company to help find missing children.

“The help of Dutch citizens and organizations is crucial to the system’s success. I call on everyone to turn AMBER Alert into a real lifesaver – download the software like me, or subscribe to text message or email alerts,” stated the Dutch minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin after haven given green light to AMBER Alert.

AMBER Alerts will only be issued for urgent missing children cases. The Netherlands Police Agency (Klpd) decide whether an AMBER Alert will be issued by assessing whether a case meets the AMBER Alert criteria. These criteria include that the child has to be under 18 years old, and that there has to be direct endangerment to the child’s life or a fear for grave injury. Expectations are that an AMBER Alert will be issued in the Netherlands between five and ten times a year. The police is fully responsible for the content of all AMBER Alerts.

Dutch citizens, organizations, companies are asked to download the AMBER Alert software from the AMBER Alert website (www.amberalertnederland.nl). The software allows for a pop-up to appear on the PC or Digital Signage screen demanding attention for an urgent missing children’s case. The pop-up disappears again after a few minutes. By showing electronic posters with information on missing children on PC or plasma screens, everyone can help increase these messages’ reach. This is a matter of life and death as the more people see these missing posters, the higher the chances a child is found (in time). It is also possible to subscribe to AMBER Alert emails, text messages and IM messages or allow for a Flash message to appear on your internal or external website.

AMBER Alert Netherlands is modeled after the American AMBER Alert Plan that has saved the lives of many children. Alerts will not include advertising and the users’ privacy is safeguarded. The AMBER Alert Netherlands software was developed by Netpresenter in cooperation with the Dutch police. Communication specialist Netpresenter has provided the platform to the Klpd (Netherlands Police Agency) free of charge.

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