The State of California recently reported a 100% success rate for their Amber Alert system. In the 90 Amber Alerts issued in four years, all 118 children have been recovered, per a California Highway Patrol news release. The CHP website provides statistics on the number of Amber Alerts issued for the period 2002-2006 and the number of recovered children.
The State of California criteria for activating an AMBER ALERT:
Law enforcement agencies ensure these conditions are met before activating an AMBER ALERT:
- The investigating law enforcement agency confirms an abduction has occurred.
The victim is 17 years of age or younger, or has a proven mental or physical disability.
The victim is in imminent danger of serious injury or death.
There is information available that, if provided to the public, could assist in the child’s safe recovery.
2002 There were 17 AMBER Alerts and 21 recovered children
2003 There were 29 AMBER Alerts and 43 recovered children
2004 There were 20 AMBER Alerts and 25 recovered children
2005 There were 20 AMBER Alerts and 23 recovered children
2006 There have been 4 AMBER Alerts and 5 recovered children
You can compare those statistics to the reported STRANGER ABDUCTION which is defined as any person taken (witnessed) by a stranger/ non-family member.
2002 Reported stranger abductions 54
2003 Reported stranger abductions 51
2004 Reported stranger abductions 47
2005 Reported stranger abductions 46
2002 percentage of Amber Alerts to Reported stranger abductions 31%
2003 percentage of Amber Alerts to Reported stranger abductions 56%
2004 percentage of Amber Alerts to Reported stranger abductions 43%
2005 percentage of Amber Alerts to Reported stranger abductions 43%
Were Amber Alerts not issued because the CHP somehow knew the Stranger Abduction didn’t place the victim in imminent danger? Should more Amber Alerts have been issued? Does California have a better understanding of when to issue Amber Alerts then other states?