It's quite remarkable how thinly spread officer on the beat can be.
My daughter works for a housing association and the local beat officers were invited to a residents meeting the other night. The two officers duly attended to listen to tenants concerns. They confided to my daughter that they were the only two officers on patrol in that area, a run down suburb of a major city.
No wonder then that calls are prioritised and mistakes sometimes made in allocating a scarce resource.