Re: @ Adam 52
Let me try to put this in geek terms. There are five of you running a helpdesk for 200,000 users. You are getting aroubd 200 calls per hour. One user's copy of Word has crashed but they won't use the document recovery feature, they insist on you coming down in person to clone their hard drive (which won't help restore the file).
Meanwhile one of the net connections has died, and whilst you do have a backup it's overloaded and thousands of users are getting partial network access.
Do you come in on your day off to help the first user?
To address the points raised:
1. You don't know the priorities. It only takes one vulnerable 90 year old to go missing to divert an entire shift. Vulnerable people go missng a lot (think about your grandparents if you're old enough) and if out overnight they almost invariably die. That's just one example.
Your friend was safe, he'd escaped. He is no longer a priority. Catching criminals is lower priority than preventing deaths or injury.
2. Assault is not a particularly serious crime. It usually isn't even prosecuted, so why waste time. You can argue the government, CPS and court priorities are wrong, but that's not a police issue.
3. CCTV, other than very expensive town centre style operator controlled CCTV is usually next to useless at identifying criminals. And it *has* to be backed up with a statement or it is useless in court. If you want to prosecute you need evidence.
4. Unfortunately social workers work 10 to 4, and don't do potentially violent situations or confrontation; taking a child into care is confrontational.
5. Society doesn't accept closed roads for long periods of time. It also doesn't like decomposing body parts scattered around.