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Why was Amber Alert delayed for the 5-year-old allegedly abducted by Markham School's father?



Although a five-year-old girl allegedly kidnapped by her father from a Markham school on Tuesday was safe because of a sharp eye resident, many questioned social media why it took the police so long to send an Amber Alert notification.

"Where is #AmberAlert?" Twitter user Sriyan Kannangara questioned less than half an hour after York Regional Police posted a kidnapping tweet.

"There will be an AMBER ALERT young girl possibly abducted by her father in Markham," wrote Coco Olive on Twitter a few minutes later.

"Why is there no Amber Alert? A kidnapped child should be an automatic Amber Alert," wrote Twitter user Lil De Filice.

READ MORE:
Amber Alert interrupted after the young girl allegedly abducted by father from Markham School found herself safe

York Regional Police was called to Armadale Public School on Coppard Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Officers said the girl was taken from the school about 2 pm by her 25-year-old father, who should not have access rights. The police said the school staff were not aware that he would not have access to his daughter. Officers were called about an hour later.

The couple left the school in a taxi and were released on a plaza about three kilometers away. They later left in another vehicle.

At 4:05 am, the police put a tweet on the service account of the service that gives advice on kidnapping of children. Officers shared pictures of the girl and her dad together with a brief description. A minute later, the police issued a press release with more detailed descriptions of the couple and more information about the event.

At 4:43 pm, Global News received an email from the Ontario Association of Broadcasters who said an Ontario Amber Alert was "in force." Eighteen minutes later, the official Ontario Amber Alert sent the Twitter account alert information.

However, it was not until 5:18 p.m. that the message Amber Alert was received on mobile phones.

READ MORE:
Manitoba's mistakenly sent Ontario Amber Alert, the province "explore" the issue

Just before 6 pm Amber Alert was canceled after the girl was safe. York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle said that someone who saw the pictures from the father and daughter was released by the police and was shared by the media called officers to report that they had met the couple. They were later tracked on a Fairburn Drive Industrial Plaza about 10 kilometers from the school.

"Of course, this person saw these people, immediately called us, and we could get there and get them both in storage and make sure the little girl was okay," she said.

The police took the man in storage. From Tuesday night it is not clear what, if any, charges he can face.

What are the criteria for issuing Amber Alerts?

According to the Ontario Provincial Police Guidelines to activate Amber Alerts, a law enforcement authority must believe that a child under the age of 18 has been abducted and that the child is in danger. The agency must also have descriptive information about the child, the abductor or the vehicle – sufficient information to enable the investigative authority to believe that an immediate broadcast alarm helps to find the child. "

If the guidelines are met, the responding police service must submit an application form for Amber Alert to OPP. OPP will then activate the alert on behalf of the police requesting it.

Emergency alarm messages are then sent out via the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System (NAAD). OPP said NAAD shares the warnings via cable and satellite companies, television stations, TV stations, radio stations, social media and via mobile text messages.

READ MORE: Lethbridge Police Service explains the criteria for issuing Amber Alerts

When asked about the delay in Amber Alerts, an OPP spokesman Global News said the agency was aware of the issue. At the beginning of Tuesday evening, the spokesman said officials could not find a thing.

Meanwhile, Nicolle went to the officers through appropriate processes to request Amber Alert from OPP.

"An Amber Alert is a tool used by the police to find a child; it is certainly not the only tool. Immediately as we became aware of this, we began to investigate and we began to carry out all the investigation steps we normally do, including release these photos to the public and the media, she says.

"There is a process for it, and that is not an immediate thing. We contact the OPP and we present the specific criteria we handle to see if it meets the threshold of an Amber Alert. At that time, if it meets the threshold, OPP will release that information and release the Amber Alert. "

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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