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Preventing and Dealing with Child Abduction

Friday, 14 February 2014

We outlined in a previous article how parental child abduction is on the rise and that incidents of parental child abduction increase around holiday periods. A vivid warning was provided by the widely publicised recent child abduction carried out by Saleem Tahir of Nottingham who kidnapped his two children from a hotel in Stoke on Trent just before Christmas 2013.

This issue is a serious concern for both parents and authorities so an increasing amount of information and advice is becoming available. The police, in collaboration with the government-supported organisation, Reunite, have issued guidelines to assist those who consider their children at risk of abduction. The full advice can be viewed here; a summary is set out below.

If an abduction has already taken place, parents should contact the police immediately.

Record Important Information

The abduction prevention guide recommends that certain information and documents relating to the at-risk child, the potential abductor and yourself should be recorded and kept in a safe place.

The information about the at-risk child should include the following: a description form, a fingerprint form, a photograph with the name and date of the child written on the back, the child’s birth certificate and any court order relating to the child.

Information about any potential abductor should include: a description form and a photograph with their name and date of birth written on the back along with the date of the photo if possible.

Information about yourself should include a details form and a copy of your marriage certificate.

Copies of the above information should also be sent to your solicitor along with an additional set of photographs.

We can provide the standard forms which are also available to download from the Reunite website.

Passport Issues

If the at-risk child has their own passport, or if the at-risk child is mentioned on your passport, then this passport should be kept in a safe place. If the passport is held by the other parent who is a potential abductor then you should seek legal advice if you cannot secure its voluntary return.

If the child does not have a passport, is not mentioned on your passport or is mentioned on the passport of a potential abductor, it is important that you seek legal advice to ascertain the best approach to managing the risk of abduction.

Dealing with an Imminent Abduction Risk

If there is a risk of imminent abduction of the at-risk child, i.e. abduction or abduction out of the UK within the next 48 hours, then you should inform your local police station. You should also speak to your solicitor as soon as possible who can attempt to get a court order to prevent the child being removed from England and Wales.

Our specialist family solicitors are experienced in dealing with child abduction cases and can provide you with immediate support and guidance. Please contact Jeetesh Patel now via e- mail or by telephone on 0207 611 4848 for more information.

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