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Jan 30, 2015

Jasmine Alert to Be Reborn

Hortence Hernandez

Remember Jasmine Alert? The initiative was established back in 2012 in memory of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe from San Elena, Cayo District. She is the young girl who was found dead and was among other young ladies who were reportedly preyed upon in the area. Lowe was murdered and her body discovered in bushes near a feeder road off the Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District. Jasmine Alert was modeled off a U.S. program, and is also known as Belize’s Child Kidnapping Emergency Warning System. The system triggers an alert on the social media and the phone companies the minute it is reported to police that a child is missing. At the press conference held today at the Raccoon Street Police Station, Police Corporal Hortence Hernandez of the Public Relations Unit spoke of the reintroduction of the Jasmine Alert.


WCP Hortence Hernandez, Public Relations Unit, Police Department

“The main purpose is for children up to the age of seventeen who police have no doubt in their minds to believe that a child or children have been abducted, simply meaning taken against their will by someone else. So that is the purpose of Jasmine Alert. What we urge parents or guardians to do is to simply teach your child their parents’ phone numbers, their addresses. One of the things we know that Belizeans don’t do very often is to take updated photographs of your child. We urge that you take pictures at least twice per year, every six months. Two times for the year to take photographs with your child not smiling; just a plain face, no among of jewelry. The purpose of this photograph is for police officers, we need those photographs to do a Jasmine Alert or even in the case of a missing person. What is imperative is that if you believe your child is abducted or kidnapped, for the police to get this information as soon as possible—not twenty-four hours after. For the Jasmine Alert to be effective, we cannot work with information after twenty-four hours. So parents, guardians, if you believe your child is in any imminent danger, make a report to the nearest police station as soon as possible.  As soon as the police officers get this information and send this information to me, we work very closely both with B.T.L. and Smart. So all the information including a photograph of this child or children that is given to me is then sent to B.T.L. and Smart who then sends this information via a short test message to all phones throughout the country. Now if the child is being abducted within Belize City, it is definitely this portion of the country who will get that text message first and then incrementally, they will send out to different part of the country, but the priority is to send out the text message first to the area where the child is believed to have been abducted.”


Of note is that in this recent alleged kidnapping report, the Jasmine Alert was not activated. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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