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Working With the Police

The police can help you in the event that your child has been abducted. They are an important partner in the search for your child. It is important that you work with law enforcement to the best of your ability. Share all information with the police regardless of how it may reflect upon yourself, your child or your family. In these types of cases, police will likely be very busy following up on leads and searching for your child. You may want to connect with or another support agency to guide your efforts and to assist you further.

What to Expect From Law Enforcement

  • In Canada, you do not have to wait to report your child missing.

  • Law enforcement will take your report immediately. If you believe your child has been abducted, you must be persistent with the police, as time is of the essence.

  • When you first contact the police, make sure you get the following information:

  • An incident number;

  • The name of the officer taking the report; and

  • A phone number for follow up.

  • Stranger abductions are rare — law enforcement should provide an immediate response in these types of cases.

  • In the case of a stranger abduction, the police will ask a lot of questions about your child and your family. Be forthcoming and honest — this is not the time to be evasive or to downplay any potential risk factors. The police are a partner in helping to locate your child and need to be aware of any circumstances, regardless of how such circumstances may reflect upon your family. All facts will come to light eventually, and it is best if information comes directly from you and is explained by you, and not a third party.

  • Expect the police to search your child’s room, school locker, computer and/or other personal spaces.

  • If you are unsatisfied with law enforcement’s response, you can call your local police station, division or detachment, and ask to speak to the officer in charge of your child’s case, or the officer in charge of the division or detachment.

Questions to Ask the Police

  • Ask law enforcement about the criteria for an Amber Alert. If your child has been abducted, and there is information that could lead to their location (such as a suspect description, a vehicle description or a license plate number) and the police feel that your child may be in imminent danger, an AMBER Alert can be a very effective tool.

  • If the criteria for issuing an AMBER Alert are not met, talk to law enforcement about issuing a media release to engage the public in the search for your child.

Once law enforcement is contacted, consider contacting can advocate on your behalf and help you in the search for your child.

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