It's not just recently either that some police officers have been nasty. When I was at uni back in the 60's, i did a vac job at Kodak's research labs in Harrow I went divng whilst ther with London No.1 Branch who used to meet at Seymore Pool in Marylebone. One night after retiring to the pub, I was walking back to the station carrying a bag with my dive gear in it when I was stopped by a Bobby on the beat. He aggressively demaned that I open the bag, which I did and when he found nothing he could nick me for, he told me to f*** off his patch. As I turned to walk away, he booted me up the backside som hard that it lifted me off my feet and deposited me in the gutter. For sevral days, I had trouble walking and had hobnail boot marks up my lower back.
The previous year (1966), I was in hall of residence and the Lord Mayor came for his annual dinner at the hall. As was tradition, all members of hall set off on a pub crawl afterwards. Given that ther were over 200 of us, the chances of getting more than one pint were slim. Fo those of you who know Bristol, we worked our way down Whiteladies Road down passed the uni, down Park Street and down the steps to The Hatchet. The steps go down in two flights and at the halfway point, a sergeant and three constables were waiting for us and started laying into everone who went passed, punching and kicking. One guy ended up with two broken ribs When one of the big guys from hall remonstrated with the sergeant, the sergeant responded with 'Come on. hit me. hit me!' He was just itching to arrest someone. Wise heads prevailed and no-one from hall responded. However, the police had left their patrol car untidily parked sticking out into the road so the hall rugby team kindly parked it more neatly for them - they picked it up and carried it 10 feet down an alley and left it crossways with about 6 inches front and back! An official complaint was made but the investigating officer said the formal sanctions were nothing compared to the ridicule they got from the rest of the nick because they had to walk back and organise a whole team of the strongest officers to get it out again.