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Tracking device will help trace missing kids

    December 15 2005 at 09:35AM

By Lebogang Seale

A new state-of-the-art computer device will give hope to parents whose children have been abducted.

Trackid SA will help with the speedy recovery of missing persons, specifically children.

Director Martin Britz said parents around the country could register children from January.

Device has the backing of women's groups
"Costs are R5 to R30 a month per child, depending on the type of package they take," Britz said.

Once the child has been registered, a photograph, fingerprints and a complete profile are taken.

"Even those whose children or relatives are already missing can get help. Costs would be assessed by looking at the circumstances."

Gorge Fivaz, former National Commissioner of the SA Police Service and Trackid chairperson, said the device captured information on a database through comprehensive profiling.

"Information is updated regularly and immediately made available for use by the SAPS or other relevant structures," Fivaz said.

Measures have been taken so that criminals do not have access to any information.
'It will be a valuable tool'

"Trackid activates additional vital functions after a report of a missing person has been verified, and press alerts will be circulated to the media, while pamphlets and posters will be distributed."

Fivaz said victims and parents would receive counselling once they had been reunited.

He said limited state resources for missing persons and parents' lack of financial means prompted them to develop the product.

Fivaz said that the device had the backing of the ANC Women's League and other women's organisations which would play an important role in the company.

"Women will be screened, recruited and trained as agents for the company at grassroots and management level," he said.

Trackid has formed a partnership with Netcare 911, and is supported by Vodacom and the SAPS.

Kubeshni Gounder of Childline Gauteng said, "It will be a valuable tool in assisting with recovery of missing persons, especially children, as they are soft targets.

"It will monitor and evaluate systems to give an accurate count of the number of children that go missing annually," Gounder said.

She said Trackid would help NGOs and other service providers to strengthen preventative programmes in ensuring that cases of missing children were minimised.

But Fanie Venter, head of the Bureau for Missing Children, expressed concern about the costs.

"The invention is a good thing, especially because of its ability to make photographs available - one of the crucial things when a person is missing. The problem is the monetary factor," Venter said.

He said the company should have consulted and worked in conjunction with other stakeholders dealing with missing persons.

    • This article was originally published on page 11 of The Star on December 15, 2005

 

 

 

I-Cube.   All rights reserved.  Revised: January 05, 2008 .