Jan

23

Parent Kidnappings Cry Wolf

By admin

Parent kidnapping is an oxymoron that is on the rise in our society. This is definitely a sign that our culture has hit the skids. Those of you around in the 1950’s or 1960’s would never have heard of such a thing back then. The very idea would have been absurd. How can a parent kidnap their own child? Not possible. And to some degree, that holds true today – at least from a logical viewpoint.

But not from a legal one. And because most people will gravitate towards the logical viewpoint in their mind, it tends to defeat the legal one. This is because the cry wolf effect reduces public aid for law enforcement.

A good example of this concept is car alarms. When you hear one go off, what is your first reaction? Do you run out towards the car to stop the thief? More than likely you are annoyed at the knucklehead that owns that car, as obviously they did something to trip the alarm (such as open the door before disarming it). I like to imagine a car thief during broad daylight in a crowded city area running into no resistance because everyone assumes he is the owner.

Where I live there is something called an Amber Alert. This was developed a few years ago due the rising rate of kidnappings in our wonderful state. The way it works is, a witness to a kidnapping (or anyone who has any information about a suspected kidnapping) gives a description of the car and/or kidnapper to the police, relatively quickly after the incidence takes place. An Amber Alert with this description then interrupts every radio and television broadcast in the area as an attempt to get public help.

It’s a good idea, it has worked, and no doubt saved a few kid’s lives. But what has been happening recently is that they are using it for parent kidnappings. Meaning that a parent who is involved in a nasty divorce takes the kid when they are not supposed to, or perhaps even the reporting parent simply does an Amber Alert on their ex-spouse as their retaliation for whatever spat they are having that day.

So responsible citizens who perk up at the amber alert, ready to take notes and keep an eye out for the vehicle, hear that the suspect is the child’s mother or father and then just say oh and completely disregard it. It ends up becoming a waste of a great emergency tactic. By allowing parent kidnappings to be included in Amber Alerts the effectiveness is greatly reduced. Pretty soon we all start thinking another parent kidnapping every time we start to hear an amber alert and pay no attention anymore. It’s really too bad.

Papa Riah

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