Piss Poor Policing
Others have mentioned it but here it is worth repeating and giving the link:
Britain has one of the highest crime rates in the developed world, and one of the most ineffective police forces, according to a new study from Civitas, the independent social policy think-tank.
In Cultures and Crimes: Policing in Four Nations, Norman Dennis and George Erdos compare the policing methods of Britain, France, Germany and the USA. All four countries witnessed steep rises in crime and anti-social behaviour following the cultural revolution of the 1960s, which broke down shared norms of acceptable behaviour. However, in spite of the fact that they have very different policing traditions, the USA, France and Germany have all made a more effective job of combating rising crime than Britain. By the beginning of the 1990s, France, Germany and the United States had begun to confront their modern problems of crime and disorder, while England's influential public intellectuals continued to claim that the 'crime problem' was mainly a figment of the imagination of the old and the ignorant. The result of this 'treason of the intellectuals' was that England, from being a society remarkably free of crime and disorder, especially from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, by the late 1990s had a worse record than either France, Germany or the United States, even though each of these nations had far less favourable histories than England's of democratic law-abiding consensus....
In 1964 in England and Wales there were 72,000 domestic burglaries; in 2003/04 there were 402,000.
In 1964 there were 3,000 robberies; in 2003/04 there were 101,000.
There are now five domestic burglaries for every one domestic burglary in 1964, in spite of a great intensification of security measures being taken by private householders to protect their own homes. However, on the streets, where a person's security of person and property depends not on his own efforts, but upon the ability of the police and bystanders to keep good order, the deterioration of the situation has been by many magnitudes still worse. There were no fewer than thirty robberies of personal property in 2003/04 for every one in 1964.
In 1955 fewer than 500,000 crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales. By the end of the 1960s there were over 1.5 million. By the end of the 1970s there were 2.7 million.
Over the longer term, the rise in crime is so spectacular as to be difficult to comprehend.
In 1893 the annual number of recorded robberies in England and Wales fell below 400. There were then never as many as 400 recorded robberies a year in the whole of England and Wales until 1941. In stark contrast, from February to December 2001 there were never as few as 400 recorded robberies a month in the London Borough of Lambeth alone.