For the second time in two months, an Amber Alert issued in Ontario led to the discovery of a little girl who was reported missing.
On Tuesday evening, an Amber Alert was issued after a 5-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by her father, 25-year-old Soloman Jaffri, from her classroom at Armadale Public School in Markham.
Initially, police said the father was not supposed to have access to the child.
However, as a direct result of the alert, police received a tip and the father and daughter were located in the area of Fairburn Drive.
At approximately 6:12 pm, York Regional Police confirmed the little girl was found in good health and Jaffri was then taken into custody but later released without charge.
CHILD FOUND: We have located 5-year-old Jannah Jaffri in good health. Her father has been taken into custody. Investigation is ongoing. Thank you to our community for your assistance in bringing Jannah home safely.
— York Regional Police (@YRP) March 19, 2019
But even after the little girl was located, many residents continued to receive alerts on their phones and television screens, which led to residents flooding emergency lines to complain.
— York Regional Police (@YRP) March 20, 2019
Despite the obvious importance of the alerts, police still have to remind the public not to call emergency lines to complain.
Toronto police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante says 9-1-1 is for emergencies only and it should not be used for such complaints.
“Please keep our phone lines open by not calling 9-1-1 due to the alerts you may still be receiving,” said Arrogante.
— Katrina Arrogante (@TPSKatrina) March 20, 2019
Similar to last month’s issued alert, many residents are failing to understand the importance of an Amber Alert and continue to react poorly to it.
According to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCFCP), an Amber Alert can only be activated by police agencies, and is only issued for the most dangerous child abduction cases, when time is of the essence.
While criteria for issuing an Amber Alert may vary from province to province, basic requirements include:
- The child is under the age of 18;
- There is a belief that the child has been abducted;
- There is a belief that the child is in imminent danger;
- There is information to be released that may help locate the child and/or the abductor (e.g. description of the child, the suspect or the vehicle driven by the abductor)
An Amber Alert must also be issued “within a reasonable amount of time” from the moment of the abduction.