Monday, October 1, 2007
Concerned citizens can form a “Nurin Alert”-type lookout too!
Sep 30th, 2007
I was thinking today that I was going to cool it with the Nurin Alert postings as there didn’t seem much else I could write about on this AMBER Alert system that I had chosen to focus on. What with the capture and remand of the fifth suspect as reported here and here, I’m thinking that maybe now the police can look into strategies for prevention etc. But I found a comment from a visitor who calls himself Mike about the NCIC and the “Be on the Look Out” programme in the US. I’ve actually earlier listed their website www.operationlookout.org on my Support Systems for Families with Missing Children blogroll as a resource for anyone interested to know more.
It so happens that I sent out several emails to women’s groups to invite them to view the postings I had made on this blog concerning the Nurin Alert. Mike’s comment is timely as he has pointed out the power of citizens groups. The US-based Operation Lookout National Centre for Missing Youth is an award winning non-profit organisation that provides services and referrals free of charge for families whose children disappear prior to age 18.
It was founded in 1984 by concerned citizens who wanted to make the public aware of the tragedy of missing children in the Northwest of the US and has become a multi-faceted child-search organization with the involvement of law enforcement, volunteers, staff and contributors. The centre claims an overall case resolve rate of 82% (as stated in website). It also runs a 24-hour HELPLINE to report a missing child, for information, search assistance, advice and sightings. They remain involved until the child is recovered. They also coordinate with law enforcement officers, provide legal and social services, distribute photos and posters, search assistance and victim support.
I’m really unsure if we have any such organization in Malaysia as my search in the internet did not show any results, possibly they do not have a website. I do know we have quite a number of NGOs who are working very hard to resolve issues revolving around women and children, and that matters on missing children are under the jurisdiction of the police, I stand to be corrected on this. I believe the call to be more inquisitive and nosey was aimed towards encouraging the involvement of concerned citizens. I’m very ignorant as to what’s out there in Malaysia as I’ve never really looked into this issue until Nurin. Possibly this is a matter for further discussion. Thanks again Mike.
In the mean time let us spare a thought for Jazimin and family as the NST report here shows how difficult it is for him and his wife to cope with all this undue media attention. It seems they present a great photo op for groups of every political and non-political affiliation (judging from photos published in the respective newspapers and websites) who are taking this opportunity to pose with them even though the photos show how haggard and clearly exhausted Nurin’s parents look. I am sure Jazimin and family are going through a very tough and heartbreaking time and will need support and counselling. Can’t we give this family some space to grieve in private? Must we have this relentless media coverage? Have a heart people!
Extracted from http://tembam.wordpress.com/2007/09/30/concerned-citizens-can-form-a-nurin-alert-type-lookout-too/