A Gold Coast man who witnessed an act of domestic violence claims he called Triple-0 twice for help but was told officers were "too busy".
The Queensland Police service has admitted it didn't have enough crews available to respond.
There are now calls for an investigation.
The incident was caught on camera by a concerned local.
He captured video just after midnight one Saturday earlier this month, that shows a woman being knocked to the ground by a man who then takes her handbag and later throws her phone across the road.
"I mean this went on for eight minutes," the man identified as Marcus told 7News.
"In this age of social media, I thought well I might film this just for evidence."
Marcus was walking home at the time.
Fearing for her safety he dialled Triple-0 twice and claims he twice received the same response.
"Sorry we're just too busy to attend," Marcus claims they said.
The first call at 12:32am lasted two minutes and 43 seconds.
The second 17 minutes later took two minutes and four seconds.
"To get the reply that I got was just beyond belief," Marcus told 7News.
So Marcus tried to help - asking the woman if she was okay.
"Yeah I'm okay." she responded.
"Yeah, please just keep walking, please keep walking."
"No, I saw him hit you," Marcus said to her.
"I could tell that she was scared that her life might have been in danger," Marcus told 7 News.
"I waited a further 20 minutes and no police arrived."
In a statement Queensland Police confirmed the calls but admitted all crews were on other urgent jobs so no one was sent to Surf Parade until 2am, more than an hour and half after the first call.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual or domestic abuse, don't suffer in silence, call 1800 RESPECT any time of day or night.