The Netherlands has taken a bold step in favor of quickly finding missing Children. 300 ATMs machines manufactured by In2Retail is now showing alerts about missing children on their screen savers. These alerts are for missing children for whom a national AMBER Alert has been issued. The ATMs are currently mainly located in airports, shopping malls, and in close proximity to tourist attractions.
The idea is currently in a testing phase which if proven successful, the project will be expanded to other ATM vendors in efforts to eventually show these alerts to every possible ATM in the country. The Netherlands is the first country to use its ATMs to display such warnings.
The Dutch police reported that they will be able to show two kinds of missing children alerts. An AMBER Alert, if the life of the child is in immediate danger and a Vermist Kind Alert When they are extremely worried about the wellbeing of a missing child. For both, a quick response is crucial.
“When an AMBER Alert or Vermist Kind Alert is issued, we need the help of the public to find the child as quickly as possible’’, says Izanne de Wit, Head of the Missing Person’s Bureau of the Dutch Police. “That’s why we are happy that these alerts will now also be displayed on ATMs, adding to the list of means we already have. Sharing the missing child’s information on these screens helps us to expand our reach even further.”
The Dutch police also use SMS messages Facebook notifications, and radio and news broadcasts to issue some of these alerts. Advertising screens, highway signs, billboards, and websites across Europe, the United States, and elsewhere are also in play.
This new alert avenue will help increase the already excellent missing children recovery results they have. According to AmberAlert.eu, in 2018, there were 26 alerts issued across Europe about 30 missing children. Of those, 97 percent of children were successfully recovered.
The alert will display a child’s photo and information about their potential whereabouts, the ATMs will also show a campaign video to encourage people to sign up to receive future alerts on their phones. AmberAlert.eu says that any links to public information are deleted once a child has been found.