MP’s say they want Amber Alert system to stay in use
A large majority of parliamentarians will support a motion to continue using Amber Alerts in the Netherlands, a notification service about child abductions. Police in April said they planned to stop using Amber Alerts by July 22 in favor of the Burgernet system.
The proposed motion in the Tweede Kamer is an initiative from Joost Eerdmans of JA21, AD reported. Tweede Kamer members fear that tracing missing children will become more difficult if the critical warnings are merged into Burgernet, the local alert system for municipalities, civilians, and police. Burgernet is used for a variety of reasons, like when police are urgently searching for suspects wanted in urgent criminal investigations.
Amber Alerts are only used in cases involving a missing child when authorities feel the child is in danger of significant harm or death. Otherwise, a Missing Child Alert is issued by police. “Amber Alert has been a success for years. It has enormous reach, great results and works internationally. There's no reason to throw it away so abruptly,” said Eerdmans, who is filing a motion in Tweede Kamer on Thursday.
”It remains to be proven if Burgernet would be equally successful. That system is more for people missing in homes, gardens, and kitchens,” he added. Eerdmans' motion will in any case be backed by the VVD, D66, PvdA, SP and Denk, according to the newspaper.
Eerdmans pointed out that ”stopping a successful initiative that works well carries risks”. He called on the cabinet to extend the contract between the police and Netpresenter, the company running Amber Alert, for a definite period of time.
Netpresenter stated they were pleased with the support they received from the Parliament. "We are open to a constructive and positive conversation with the police," said the company’s director Frank Hoen.
Minister Ferd Grapperhaus of Security and Justice said in April he saw no reason to reverse the decision. He advocated for the police to be in charge of all warning systems. Moreover, he explained Burgernet was considerably cheaper than Amber Alert.