When I was young (1940's) kids generally were terrified of the police, or at least respected their authority.
Yep, in my grandads day (he was a bobby), a bobby was seen as an important part of the local community, and tended to have great respect and the locals knew him by name etc...
In them days, a clip round the ear would deter the thugs-to-be from turning out that way.
Nowadays, there is no respect and the police are so restricted by the government, its rediculous!!