Anorak | The Madeleine McCann GPS Locator For Your Potentially Missing Kids

The Madeleine McCann GPS Locator For Your Potentially Missing Kids

by | 20th, October 2009

mccann-madeleine4 MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann : Madeleine McCann’s name is being used in the context of a bit of kit that tags your kids.

Anna Maxted tests a new device that enables parents to track their child via satellite from a computer or mobile phone.

Anna Maxted is the Telegraph’s jobbing mum, which in the media makes her ideally placed to spread the panic about missing kidzzz. Because mums know best (in pictures ).

The last time I mislaid a child – my four-year old, in the park, for 15 endless minutes – I wished unashamedly that he could be chipped, like the cat.

You mislaid a child? Surely you lose a child. You mislay your keys. Can you mislay a cat? Interestingly, one of Maxted’s kids she has three boys is called Oscar, which is a name ideally suited to a dog.

When Steve Salmon’s young daughter vanished during a family pub lunch (later found petting a pony in the adjacent field), he doubtless wished the same thing. Two years on, Salmon, chief executive of communications firm Lok8u, has launched the equally tongue-twisting NuM8, the world’s first GPS locator for children.

It’s not. A little research on the internet and Anorak finds this and it is, like Maxted, beyond parody:

Child Locator as Featured in Duracell BrickHouse Child Locator Commercial; Distance Alerts help you keep a watchful eye on your wandering children, in a way that hasn’t been possible before. It’s Not You, All Children Wander; 2,185 Go Missing Every Day. Locate anything or anyone from 600 ft to an inch away. Get a warning from the custom distance alert or via included panic button tag.

It’s brought to you by Brickhouse Security . Brickhouse is a word usually joined to the word “shit”. You may also recall this warning from Anorak :

“New laws to regulate the use of high-tech child-tracking devices are being called for by MPs amid fears they could be used by paedophiles and stalkers. The technology is aimed at parents wanting to keep tabs on their children after a series of high-profile child murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann”

And there was this pair who rented out child tracking devices at the airport. While your stick your locator on the nose on your face, Maxted reviews her gadget:

To all appearances, it’s a chunky, child-friendly wristwatch, worn by the subject, that enables the fond parent to track their darling via satellite from a computer or mobile phone. But this is not a gadget for the morally squeamish. Behind the bright colours – choose from aqua blue, hot pink and lime green, or neutral black – the rubber strap contains a “web of reinforced steel”. If anyone – rebellious child or dastardly adult – attempts to remove the locator from its assigned wrist, Mummy or Daddy is alerted from their cappuccino via text…

Better if the in-built blowers began to shape the froth on the cappuccino to form the word PAEDO in chocolate.

According to the charity Missing Persons, formerly National Missing Persons Helpline, an estimated 140,000 children and young people run away or go missing every year in the United Kingdom. This, coupled with mothering three boys, has eroded my principles. I cannot wait to tag my kids.

That many, eh? How many are found alive and well? Maxted does not care to say.We do:

Tarling and Burrows’ 2004 study of Metropolitan Police missing person cases found that 99 per cent of cases were resolved within one year.

Any other facts?

A 2004 Home Office study (Newiss and Fairbrother, 2004: 1-6) found that, of the 798 police reports of child abduction and attempted child abduction in England and Wales that year:

• 56 per cent or all reports involved a stranger
• 47 per cent of all reports were ‘attempted child abductions by a stranger’
• 9 per cent of all reports were successful child abductions by a stranger


…of the 798 police reports of child abduction and attempted child abduction in England and Wales that year, 23 per cent involved abduction by a parent .

Back to Maxted of the cappuccino:

Guilt forces me to opt for full disclosure. I tell the seven-year-old, “This is like a Ben 10 watch. You wear it, and I track you, like the police track baddies who try to escape from prison.”

He can but try…

You have already read 1 premium article for free today
Access immediately the premium content with Multipass

Or come back tomorrow

Posted: 20th, October 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann Comments (10) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink