Between 1997 and 2000 there was a steady increase in the annual number of recorded crimes. The first nine months of 2001 saw an end to this trend. During 2001 the rate of increase in recorded crime diminished markedly. Moreover, for the first time in years, violent crime increased at a lower rate than most other crime categories. Given these encouraging figures, is South Africa beginning to win the war against crime? While the latest numbers look promising, talk of a victory is premature. There has to be a sustained decline in the levels of most serious crimes to reduce the country’s crime levels to acceptable levels.