Ah yeah .... and no. Not young, and grew up in the same kind of conditions you did. Kids wandering the streets unsupervised, was usual. TODAY, it's not usual. And more to the point, today there is potential threat associated with people doing so - hence the terrible dilemma for police. Back in our day, there wasn't the potential threat, so police behaved accordingly. Street thuggery was confined to very specific inner city areas, outside of which police would not regard random kids in the street as dangerous. They might regard them as potential 'trouble-makers', but not of the threat to life and limb variety.