The South African Police Service (SAPS) launched the #AmberAlert initiative today in partnership with Facebook.
The system is used to send out an alert about a missing child over Facebook to those in close vicinity (160km radius) to where the missing case was laid. Facebook users who see the alert can then actively participate in finding the missing children.
At the launch, SAPS explained that on average around 200 children go missing a month in South Africa, and only half are recovered. Last year, SAPS were approached by Facebook about this project, with the company saying they can provide greater exposure for missing children cases.
The Amber Alert project has already been launched in 22 countries, including Australia and Belgium. South Africa will be the 23rd country and the first in Africa.
National Police Commissioner General Sitole said that Facebook’s #AmberAlert is an example of how social media positively contributes in the fight against crime.