One would think it was the age of an unusually high crime rate. Mais au contraire, as Monsieur Poirot would say. It was the time of an unusually low crime rate:
The paper is interesting throughout:
Murder rates, as historians have noted, were very high in medieval England compared to later years, and compared to many modern societies. The average recorded rate for the years before 1300 was 21 per 100,000 compared to a current rate in the UK of about 1.4 per 100,000. Figure 7 shows these rates for the available samples of localities, and here we see a marked decline throughout the years before 1800. England was becoming at the level of the neighborhood a much less violent place over time. To place this in modern context, the current US murder rate is about 4 per 100,000, Columbia 630, South Africa 51, Jamaica 32, Venezuela 32, Russia 19, and Mexico 13. Thus medieval England had murder rates on a par of those of modern Russia.
Are there any good contemporary Russian detective writers? I know only one, and he prefers to set the plots of his books into the Victorian era!
By the way, the decline of the murder rate in England went hand in hand with the development of capitalism. Not that capitalism itself would cause the murder rate to fall: however, capitalism requires the rule of law to work properly. Capitalism needed police, courts and all the legal system to have developed to a high standard. The decline of the British murder was a by-product of this process.