This particular people is not ignoring that requirement but the 'as soon as possible' ought to be used in context. I have doubts that any car beat arrangement anywhere in London is more than an hour away from any location on it's beat, or even of a car on an adjacent beat. Secondly, there is a graded response, in this case it was a grade two response. You might expect that if the words 'as soon as possible' are to be strictly interpreted, then blues and twos and the associated haste would be a necessity for every call of this nature, which would mean that it would in fact be a grade one call, as would every grade two call then become. 'As soon as possible' cannot therefore be properly applied to a grade two call.
But, yes, there may reasonably be assumed the intention that the police will arrive sometime within the hour following their despatch to the incident. The soon as possible bit could reasonably be interpreted as meaning 'as soon as possible while driving within the speed limit, and blues and twos are not required.' The allowance of an hour to get to the job is self defeating. How can it possibly be an emergency if you have an hour to attend?
The police (mis)management have a great habit of covering their own arse. Instructions not to enter water to save a drowning child, to let suspected criminals walk off without identifying themselves, and the like. When I first got my police driving permit, the Chief Constable's written orders dictated that no unit beat patrol car (Pandas) was to exceed 30 mph on any road during normal duties and under no circumstances whatever was one ever to exceed 40 mph. But God help you if you observed that order. You would not have been in any formal trouble, but your career would become confined to foot patrol in the back of beyond and dealing with every crap prisoner that came along.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."