Queensland has a new child abduction alert system.

The Police Minister and Commissioner announced the revamp. It’s based on an American model to locate high-risk children who’ve been snatched.

Jack Harvey reports.


The so-called AMBER Alert system requires a broadcast every 15 minutes appealing for information.

Named after a nine year old girl in the United States who was abducted and murdered in 1996, the system is designed to maximise the chances of locating the missing child by providing explicit details of the abductee and alleged abductor.

Jo-Ann Miller, Minister for Police: “The people of Queensland will see the Amber Alert on television, they’ll also be able to listen to the Amber alert on radio, and they’ll also see it on Facebook and Twitter.”

A 2007 study of 275 alerts in the US, found the AMBER alert was predominantly used in cases of family abductions in which the chances of injury or death are low.

Critics there say it’s not being used as intended which was for cases of high risk children being abducted by a stranger.

First implemented in 1996, the Amber Alert has been criticised with response time and alert criteria being called into question.

Queensland is the first state to introduce the system.

It allows police to initiate an alert if a child is missing in suspicious circumstances, rather than the alert being reserved purely for cases where there’s evidence of an abduction.

The Police Commissioner says it’ll only be used in extreme cases.

Jack Harvey, QUT News.