21 Jul 2013

Missing children to be on electronic billboards in Jamaica

10:08 am on 21 July 2013

The government in Jamaican is to set up electronic billboards to help identify and rescue missing children. Photos and information of missing children will be posted on them.

A government official said the aim was to help the public identify the children as soon as they go missing and enable the police to rescue them.

Latest government figures, from 26 June, say 1154 children are currently listed as missing in Jamaica and 190 are unaccounted for.

The BBC reports the billboards will be part of an alert system launched in 2009, following the death of Ananda Dean, a school girl.

Since the death of school girl Ananda Dean in 2009, photos and crucial information about missing children are already printed and distributed across the country as part of the Ananda Alert System.

Some mobile phone companies also send the data to their customers.

"We think we are making some strides. There is still more work to be done," Office of the Children's Registry registrar Greig Smith told the Jamaica Observer.

The BBC reports electronic billboards will be installed in the capital, Montego Bay, and other towns, including Savanna-la-mar, Ocho Rios and Spanish Town.

Nearly one in five people live below the poverty line in Jamaica, which has a population of over 2.7 million.