Europe 1 with AFP // Photo credit: Thomas COEX / AFP 10:58 am, June 08, 2023

For the second time in less than a month, the kidnapping alert has been triggered. The authorities are actively searching for little Malek, aged 8 and abducted in Dunkirk on the night of June 6 to 7. But how is this alert triggered? Europe is looking into this.

On the night of June 6 to 7, an 8-year-old girl named Malek Younes disappeared Avenue de la Libération in Dunkirk in the North. The girl has long, black curly hair and black eyes. The authorities believe that the girl is likely to be in the presence of her father Jamel Younes, 40 years old and 1m84.

The man is described as having a normal build with black hair and has tattoos on the nape of his neck and wrist. This man could be riding in a green Renault Twingo, registered DM 485 GJ. The public prosecutor has also chosen to extend the alert.

Fifteen days before this abduction, another alert had been triggered to report the abduction of Eya, a 10-year-old girl, by her father and an accomplice. The latter three were finally found 24 hours after the report, in Denmark. But when is an alert triggered for a child abducted by a parent? Europe 1 gives you some answers.

The public prosecutor gives the order

Originally, it was the public prosecutor, "in close consultation with the investigators", who took the decision to trigger the kidnapping alert. The alert will only be triggered if four criteria are met. "The victim must be a minor," the Justice Ministry said. "It must be a proven abduction and not a simple disappearance. The physical integrity of the victim must be in danger. Finally, the prosecutor must have information to locate the child."

"A context of violence"

The endangerment of the victim is the most complicated criterion because it is the most subjective. Isn't there a risk of triggering this alert every time a child is not returned after a parent's care? "This device works because it is always used wisely," retorts the spokesman of the Ministry of Justice, Pierre Januel.

In the context of the abduction of little Malek, the context of violence is obvious, a mother having been found dead in her home. The couple has already experienced disputes. The spouse is necessarily in the list of suspects, first of the kidnapping, then potentially (of the death) of his wife but everything in its time, "continued this source. The suspect, of Tunisian nationality, is known to the police and justice, according to a source close to the investigation.

The "Abduction Alert" plan is a massive and immediate alert system deployed to assist in the search for a child presumed abducted. It is largely inspired by the "Amber Alert" plan, created in Texas in 1996, after the kidnapping and murder of little Amber Hagerman. Adopted in France in February 2006, it consists of launching a massive alert in the event of the abduction of a minor child to mobilize the population in the search for the child and his abductor. It was triggered in France about thirty times.