This paper will briefly address some perspectives on the public perception of crime, safety and policing in South Africa since 1994. The points below are based on the results of various surveys: i.e. the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) victim surveys in metros, small towns and deep rural areas; the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) national opinion surveys and the national Victims of Crime survey. What we are interested in here is the transition. But as far as crime statistics are concerned – whether reported to the police or to surveys – saying anything about the pre-1994 period with certainty, is difficult. Most of the data below therefore refers to the post-1994 period.