Wirral Euro MP backs cash for missing children alert

WIRRAL Euro MP Arlene McCarthy has welcomed an announcement by the European Commission that it is to provide €1m funding to develop missing children alert system across Europe.

Ms McCathy, whose proposal to force member states to provide a 116000 Missing Child Hotline across all EU countries is set to get the full support of the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week, said: “With 7,500 children going missing in the UK and Belgium alone last year, action at a European level on missing children is vital.

"This funding will help support EU-wide measures to improve cooperation on missing children and I hope that our European missing child systems will be modelled on the amber alert system in the US, which has helped recover over 400 missing children.”

On her proposals for a 116000 Missing Child Hotline, she added: “Nearly two years after the introduction as a voluntary Europe-wide number only seven member states have established the 116,000 hotline service.

"The voluntary approach is not working and that is why I proposed incorporating the 116,000 number into law, establishing a right across all 27 EU Member States for citizens to access the missing child hotline."

"The first 24 hours are crucial to safely recovering missing children.

"Ensuring that we have a common helpline number in all Member States will help speed up the vital response by national authorities wherever a child goes missing as well as in neighbouring countries.”