the police cannot be everywhere, all the time – everyone understands that.
There will always be times, even with the record number of police officers on the streets of Scotland, when the force cannot cope with the demands on them. The most dangerous incidents will always have to be prioritised.
But that takes nothing away from the anger and frustration that Susan Young must have felt when she chased a robber who had smashed his way into her car and made off with her Christmas shopping.
This was an live on-going incident in which a criminal had been spotted and a quick police response might have caught him on the spot.
It was only down to the thief’s brazen attitude to the law – and the quick actions again of the two women – that he was caught the next day when he returned to the scene of the crime.
It does not bear thinking about what might have happened if Mrs Young had caught up with the robber. That is a risk that the 999 operator must have considered before deciding that they could not help.
The public have a right even at the busiest of times to expect a far faster response than that received by these two businesswomen in Piershill.
The fact that there were no officers available to react to an on-going crime so close to the city centre is worrying.
There may be record numbers of officers in Police Scotland, but are they being deployed where they are needed most?
The recent row over the policing of the Capital’s Hogmanay celebrations highlighted the fact that officers were being paid to check tickets when private security guards could have done that.
Police Scotland are quite right to insist frontline officers are free to combat crime and that approach must be rigorously enforced.