I always thought that a ref was in control of affairs even after the final whistle, therefore I cannot understand how some recent incidents have been dealt with.
Take the Joe Cole thing at Bolton. Surley if he had tried to pull Mendy's head off during the game he would have been red carded. So why could the ref not do the same after the final whistle. It would have saved the FA enquiry etc and he would heave got the same treatment as Bolton's Levelle. Ok, if the police had also wanted to get involved then that is down to them and dealt with outside of football.
It was no uncommon in days gone by for players to be sent off after the game for incidents in the tunnel. Nowadays, players giving official abuse after the game just get reported instead of cautioned or sent off.
Sombody once told me that the ref was in charge from the moment he/she/it entered the ground the the moment they left.