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Cross-border missing children cooperation

 Cross-border missing children cooperation
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Justice ministers discussing a proposed EU-wide missing child alert system have agreed on closer co-operation between national authorities.

The goal is to speed up response in cross-border cases, as the first hours after an abduction are vital.

Data-sharing is clearly to be developed, but EU officials say harmonising the many different national and regional alert arrangements is very complex.

In France a comprehensive system similar to a US model lets the authorities get public information onto electronic signboards over the motorways within 30 minutes of a confirmed abduction.

Britain relies on communication between more than 50 police forces, charities and volunteer groups.

Germany has in the past argued that one centralized system would counterproductively alert states which were not involved.

France, however, has only used its system six times in the two years it has been operational.