Unfortunately, with the continuous low-level background of crime to which we British have been conditioned, there's not much hope of improvement in the quality of life in the foreseeable future.
You have to WANT to be caught to be prosecuted for any half-serious crime nowadays, whereas the police are pretty good at the trivial stuff.[From PC Bloggs - a Twenty-first Century Police Officer: Will the real blogger please stand up?]
Indeed. And the latest Channel 4 figures prove it. You're much more likely to be a victim of serious crime in London than in New York, presumably because the police are busy giving out speeding tickets and arresting people for over-filling their recycling bins. There's been a lot of serious crime recently. I woke up on a Sunday morning recently to the news channels reporting a night of criminal violence and looting in north London. Apparently the police abandoned the streets to gangs who were able to empty retail premises at a leisurely pace, burning down shops, setting fire to cars, that sort of thing.
On Saturday night, shops and homes were raided and cash machines ripped out in Tottenham. There were also thefts from shops in nearby Wood Green.[From BBC News - London riots: Met Police launch Operation Withern]
Where were the rubber bullets? I have a conspiracy theory. The government has asked the police to cut their spending back to 2008 levels, so the police responded by letting London burn, thus making it politically impossible for the government to impose cuts. It's been a win-win for them: lots of easy people to arrest and a great PR win over the evil Tories at the same time.