THE GARDAÍ are to launch a free Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) Alert smart phone app that will help notify people with a CRI alert and keep them up to date with information.
The launch coincides with National Missing Persons Day today.
The CRI Alert system was launched in May of last year and has been utilised twice since its inception, on 29 July 2013 and 28 November 2013.
The purpose of the CRI Alert is to seek the assistance of the public when investigating child abduction cases.
It does so by publicising relevant information and details which facilitates members of the public in identifying the abducted child, suspect or vehicles involved in the abduction and immediately feeding that information back to the investigating gardaí.
The app is hoped to be an added addition to the alert system and was created with the assistance of the Vodafone Foundation Ireland. The app is available for free on Apple, Android and Windows Media platforms.
The gardaí said that the app further increases the channels available to them for publicising a CRI Alert and utilises two strands – a notification for when a CRI alert is issued and a space to securely maintain up-to-date information which may include photos.
Commissioner Callinan welcomed the smartphone app initiative saying that “strict criteria must be met before the CRI Alert is issued. If these criteria are met, CRI Alert information is distributed by An Garda Síochána to the public through a range of communications channels”.
He said he hoped the additional means of a smartphone app will help get the message of the CRI Alert to the public, adding that “over 50 percent of the public in Ireland own a smartphone and as a result the potential for quickly reaching vast numbers of the population with critical information is enormous”.
A CRI Alert will only be initiated when there is a reasonable belief that there is an immediate and serious risk to the health and welfare of the abducted child.