PARENTS across Burton and South Derbyshire are being urged to sign up to a system that alerts them if a child in the area has disappeared.
Police forces, councils and even MPs are getting behind efforts to get people to register with the new child rescue alert system.
The initiative will issue emergency alerts via email and text messages at the touch of a button if a child disappears and their life is at immediate risk.
Burton MP Andrew Griffith said: “The abduction of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare, and the pain of parents such as those of Madeleine McCann and April Jones is something we can only imagine.
“When a child goes missing every second counts in the immediate aftermath, and getting the message out to as many local people as possible could make the difference.
“While we all hope and pray that the tragedies seen in other parts of the country are not replicated in Burton, the child rescue alert system is an essential tool to make sure that as a community we are prepared to leap into action should the worst ever happen.
“It is quick, easy and free to sign up – all you need to give is your postcode, telephone number and email address.
“It takes seconds and could be lifesaving – I have signed up and I would encourage everyone in Burton to sign up too.”
The alert system is being run by the National Crime Agency and the charity Missing People.
The scheme is based on Amber Alert, which was introduced in Texas in 1996 following the abduction and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman.
It centres around youngsters under the age of 17.
More information on the scheme is available by logging on to the website www.childrescuealert.org.uk