Where I work there's often not a lot going on at night, so rather than do nothing for 9 hours we usually check a few cars. We can sit behind a car and check who it's registered to, if it's been reported stolen, if it's insured, and who is insured to drive it. We can't tell who is driving it, if they are one of the insured drivers, and if they have a licence or are disqualified. To do that we have to stop the car, speak to the driver and do a quick check over the radio. It doesn't take long. Some people drive without insurance, some drive without a licence, some are disqualified and carry on driving because they don't care, some are pissed. We now sieze cars from people who are driving without insurance or without a licence. Most people see this as a good thing. This is how the police catch these people.
I always explain to people what we're doing and why we're doing it, and I make it clear to them that being stopped does not mean they have done something wrong. Most people don't have a problem with it and they understand why we do it. I understand why some people don't enjoy being stopped by the police, and we all know that there are some complete nobs in the police, but there always will be. I get paid to do a job, so I go and do it, and stopping and checking cars is part of it. I would be quite happy to sit in the warm station all night reading my book, but I suspect all those people who so graciously 'pay my wages' might not approve?
mcmoonter - I don't know why you were stopped, but the police can stop any vehicle, which is sometimes on a hunch, and often at (for want of a better word) random, and on most occasions everything is just fine. I doubt it was anything personal.