A police warning system, which sparks a national alert if a child goes missing, was due to be relaunched today.
Under the system, TV and radio stations would be given information to broadcast as soon as a child goes missing. Police would be able to interrupt programmes across Europe with information about the missing child and any suspected abductors.
The Child Rescue Alert – re-launched today to mark International Missing Children’s Day – will make a continent-wide appeal possible, if police believe the abducted child is likely to be taken overseas.
Leicestershire police became the fourth force in the country to introduce the Child Rescue Alert system in 2004, but not all constabularies followed suit.
The force said it had “come close” to using it twice, but never has. Chief Superintendent Chris Rollings, of Leicestershire Police, said it was a vital weapon against child abduction. He said: “Getting this information out within the first few hours is really important and gives us a greater chance of recovering the child.