The hunt for missing Madeline McCann could be put on hold as officials say they expect up to 38,000 police officers to be sidelined amid the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
McCann, the daughter of two British doctors, was almost four years old when she disappeared in 2007 during a family holiday in Portugal.
Citing an unnamed government source, the Daily Mail reports that authorities in Britain anticipate 30 percent of the police force to be affected by the highly contagious virus that causes COVID-19. With such a reduction in workforce, historical police cases like the unsolved disappearance of the little girl may have to be put on hold.
“The coronavirus is unprecedented in living memory and so the measures the police have to take are unprecedented,” a government source told the Daily Mail.
“The mapping shows that, in the worst case scenario, as much as 25 -30 per cent of the population could be infected at the peak time, which is estimated to be late May or early June … That could be mirrored across the police force so contingency plans are being put in place and, although they need to be finalised, one of the main points is increasing police shift rates from nine-hours to 12-hours.”
“With fewer officers, the police will be told to prioritise crimes where there is a critical need to investigate or if there is a danger of evidence being lost if they don’t act straight away,” the source said.
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