Englishman, that is too funny! Should have been a Monty Python sketch, like Eric Idle's "I'm Sorry Murder Trial". In fact, I'm visualizing you doing a pretty good Eric Idle "I'm awfully sorry" bit while reading the post. You hear the expression all the time "only in America", but your post rings with "Only in England!".
I take it from the posts here that most English police don't carry. I had read an article sometime back that said that now most do. Oh and by the way, you mentioned guards at the airports carrying machine guns. Actually, they carry submachine guns. Or as the current term goes "assault weapons". Just thought I'd point that out as I go on to post a reply to Abaddon.
"You can't have everything, where would you put it?" -- Steven Wright