Guidelines for an AMBER Alert

Guidelines for an AMBER Alert

Criteria Needed to Issue an AMBER Alert

Law enforcement will issue an AMBER Alert only in the most dangerous child abduction cases when time is of the essence. Each province has its own criteria to determine whether or not an AMBER Alert should be issued to help recover an abducted child.

AMBER Alerts are issued only when specific criteria are met. These types of alerts are rarely issued, and police decide on a case-by-case basis whether issuing an Amber Alert would assist in the recovery of an abducted child.

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. In some provinces, AMBER Alerts may also be issued for vulnerable adults who have gone missing (e.g. elderly adults, or adults living with an intellectual disability).

How can the community assist?

If you see or hear an AMBER Alert, watch for the child, suspect, and/or vehicle described in the alert.  If you have any information regarding an AMBER Alert, immediately report it to the police by calling 911, Crime Stoppers 1 800 222-8477, or your local police. 

You can sign up for AMBER Alerts through SMS text messages by visiting or text 26237(AMBER). 

March 21, 2019 / by / in