20 May 2014
A new purpose-built website providing crucial information and advice on all types of child abduction is launched today by the charity Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT), with support from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP command.
The Child Abduction Hub, aimed at parents and professionals, will address some of the myths associated with child abduction, whether linked to strangers, family friends or a parent, and make available practical, common sense advice and guidance. The site - www.childabduction.org.uk - is launched just days before International Missing Children's Day (25 May).
The creation of the hub follows the joint PACT and CEOP report 'Taken - a study of child abductions in the UK', published in May 2013. It concluded there was a need to revamp out of date 'stranger danger' warnings, after findings showed that in 42 per cent of police reports studied, the abductor or would-be abductor was not known to the child.
Operated by PACT, the Child Abduction Hub will be supported by an advisory board of representatives from law enforcement, the government, universities and charities.
Lady Catherine Meyer CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of PACT, said:
"Our ambition for the Child Abduction Hub is to radically transform the way in which our society protects its children from abduction in all its forms.
“PACT has established that there is a crying need for practical common sense and advice. This can only be done on the basis of bringing together information, research and analysis in a ‘one stop shop’, which the Child Abduction Hub is designed to offer.
“We are delighted to be working with the National Crime Agency's CEOP command and thanks to the incredible support from players of the People's Postcode Lottery, we can rise to the challenge of keeping our children safe."
Charlie Hedges, Manager of Missing and Abducted Children at the National Crime Agency (NCA) said:
"Thankfully, child abductions are relatively rare occurrences and the majority of children who go missing from home return safely. However, there is still a need for parents to understand how they can help keep their children safe. With continued analysis and research by both the NCA and PACT, the Child Abduction Hub will provide the most up-to-date and relevant information needed.”
The new website comes in the same month as the re-launch of the Child Rescue Alert, is a joint initiative between the National Crime Agency, the charity Missing People and communication expert Groupcall Limited.
The Child Abduction Hub and the Child Rescue Alert are two sides of the same strategy: the hub deals with the prevention of child abduction and the alerts focus on the rescue of abducted children
Today also sees the publication of new research by PACT on child safety. 'Beyond Stranger Danger' supports the need for new safety guidance and a one stop shop.