......just patrolling on foot, like bobbies used to, and ignoring the bylaws against having a drink in public, like sensible polis do, they could have avoided the stramash at a cost considerably lower than several hours of helicopter time.
One late evening, after a particularly late finish to a 14:00hrs to 22:00hrs shift at a local industrial plant, my mate and I enjoyed a few beers 'after time' in the local pub. No trouble and no fuss in the bar and we then left around midnight....
.....however, we'd also taken the opportunity to call in at the off licence just after leaving work and bought ourselves a couple of six packs of lager. We sat down on some benches not too far from a take away pizza emporium after leaving the pub....
...by this time is was about 00:30 and so we each purchased a fine pizza (especially good spicy meatfeast and a gem of a spicy pepper & cheese) and started to munch away on them and drink our beers. Clearly drinking in a public place can be seen as being a bit naughty but we had our feet up, out of the way and thus proceeded to watch the usual stereotypical selection of drunk idiots fight and cause mayhem.
Cue the arrival of the police, who to their credit did make a huge effort to not arrest anyone until the behaviour of some went from silly but high spirited into the regions of drunken f**-wittery.
Anyway, an older police officer walked by and noticed what we were doing...to wit, eating pizza and drinking beers in a public place whilst watching the Police deal with aforementioned f**wits. The officer calmly looked at us and in essence said, "Right fellas...I can tell you've just finished work. Do me a favour and keep the profile low will you. And make sure the beer cans go into the bin when you've finished". Our combined answer was pretty much, "No worries Sergeant."
Thus mollified, the Sergeant left us to it do deal with the more troublesome drunks. We continued watching the show provided by the drunk morons and the Police...it was better than watching it on SKY.
Left to our devices, we finished the beers and threw all the rubbish in the bin and wandered off to our respective homes.
Just proves that there are decent coppers out there who will make decisions and exercise the sort of judgement that HM Constabulary was once famous for.