Brantford Police say they have been “inundated by numerous phone calls” complaining about Thursday’s Amber Alert.
According to police, just after 12:00 am on July 25, they responded to a 9-1-1 call about abduction and an assault at an address on Bissett Avenue in Brantford.
“A male, known to police, orchestrated a ruse so that he could abduct his two-year-old child from the child’s mother,” investigators said. “Accomplices of the male attended at the mother’s front residence door, and when she answered the front door, the estranged father gained entry by kicking in the locked back door.”
Police say after breaking into the residence, the father allegedly assaulted the child’s mother and another occupant of the residence before physically removing his two-year-old child from the residence, and leaving the area in a vehicle with the accomplices.
Inspector Scott Williams, of the Brantford Police Service, said that they follow strict guidelines for investigating child abductions.
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Following the incident this morning, police began an investigation immediately and a senior officer was consulted, and they “provided authorization to conduct an application of an Amber Alert.”
The public received the first alert just after 3 am.
As the investigation continued, the suspect vehicle was located in Hamilton, Ontario, and subsequent to that, further investigation revealed the location of the suspect.
The suspect was arrested and the two-year-old child was located unharmed, according to police.
“The Ontario Amber Alert is a warning system that quickly alerts the public of an abducted child who may be in danger. Time is critical in saving the lives of abducted children, and the main objective of the Amber Alert is always the safe return of the child,” said Williams. “The decision to utilize the Ontario Amber Alert is based on established criteria, and is never taken lightly. Information obtained quickly through an Amber Alert may assist with the child’s safe and successful return.”
According to Williams, once a child is abducted, there is no way to determine the exact location the abductor is headed, and as time passes, there is a “growing geography of concern.”
“The abductor could travel quickly, using various forms of transportation, so it is important to alert the entire province,” said Williams. “As the abductor or vehicle information may be known to people in other areas of the province, issuing a province-wide alert may result with more information to assist with the investigation.”
Unfortunately, Williams said that people have taken the time to show their displeasure with the Amber Alert program.
“The Brantford Police Service has been inundated by numerous phone calls to our Communications Section, 9-1-1, and to our public email account,” he said. “One person has called and complained 11 times; this is being investigated.”
Police have released some of the comments from their public email account:
- Why did you have to send 2 Amber Alerts for the same event? My phone received at 3:04 am and 3:36 am.
- You guys are absolutely crazy with your Amber alerts. I live 6 hours drive away, in another province and you feel waking me up at 3 am is required.
- Perhaps if you do your job, we could sleep.
- Yes, I leave my phone on, but not because I want to be harassed by law enforcement, because I have elderly parent who may have a legitimate need for help.
- Respectfully, do your job and stop harassing citizens.
- Please, please work on technology to stop unnecessary and health damaging alerts to people asleep. Soon people will find solutions that negate any good that might come from amber alert program.
- 3 o’clock in the **** morning- no- I haven’t seen her. This went off five **** times. I am in Oshawa . What in the **** are you thinking.
- Please stop sending the AMBER alerts to our phones in Ottawa. Since the abduction is in Hamilton, there is no way that the suspect is up in Ottawa, six hours away. We have things to do in the morning and this is the second time this night that the phone has woken us up, and it seems Brantford Police Services appear disproportionately on our phones here.
“When a child is abducted, it is our duty to utilize any and all resources available to facilitate a lawful investigation, and to locate the child as soon as possible,” said Williams. “We expect the public to support our stance.”