Thank you very much Monty.
As I interpret your answer, Thain's reported evidence at the inquest was not entirely accurate; he should have said that he was not allowed to leave his beat unless called or unless an emergency, in his opinion, warranted it. I'm sure you will correct me if I have misunderstood.
I wasn't aware that I had broken the world record for questions in one post (!) but, at the risk of exceeding my annual quota, I do have one more for you if you don't mind: Would an officer in 1888 have been in any kind of trouble (be it neglect of duty charge, disciplinary proceedings, reprimand, slap on wrist etc.) if a member of the public had simply told him there was a body of a woman lying in Bucks Row and that officer had knocked up a single house - on the basis that he was already in the process of doing so - before going straight to Bucks Row?