I am a supporter of the edict from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson (SPS to his private office) that under normal circumstances police officers should patrol singly when on foot. Two (or more) police walking along together tend to be looking at each other and chatting rather than looking around and engaging with the public. Senior officers (who tend to be driven around) are now encouraged to bring their cars to a screeching halt if they see two officers walking along together and ask them why they are not patrolling singly (and presumably to produce any risk assessment that tells them not to).
This morning I happened to see two police officers patrolling on horseback sedately in central London. Very picturesque. Good for tourism and all that. However, they were riding along side by side and talking to each other (the officers not the horses). There was a queue of traffic following along behind (slowly).
If I had been a senior officer (and I am sure that it’s a good thing that I’m not), would I have been expected to stop and confront the officers and tell them to patrol separately?
I don’t know. It is just idle speculation. I’m not that bothered ….