Poor investigation by police has been the main complaint about their performance in the Western Cape.

That is according to the provincial police ombudsman, Oswald Reddy.

He tabled the annual report of his office before the standing committee on Police Oversight and Community Safety.

His office has received 520 complaints against the South African Police Service this year.

This is an increase of 9% compared to the same period last year.

Reddy says more than four hundred of these complaints have been finalised.

“Many of the complaints relate to the complainants seeing the suspects for example walking around and they want to know why the suspects are not arrested. Poor response, if the members of the community call the police and either the police don’t turn up or they take too long to turn up”.

Reddy confirmed he approached police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the Hawks, to also look into the allegations of links between gangs and the police in the province.

Premier Alan Winde requested that Reddy investigate the claims and to advise him on the legal route he could take.

Winde refused to release the completed report to the public, due to security concerns and risks.

He added that lives of people could be at risk.

The premier instituted the probe following a judgement handed down in the Western Cape High Court, in 2022.

In it, Judge Daniel Thulare suggests that gangs have captured police structures in the province.

Reddy says the two institutions would focus on various aspects of the allegations.

“We had a meeting with the Executive Director of IPID and we handed over some information we had. They assigned a senior investigation officer to look at the criminal aspect relating to this investigation. I also dealt with the head of the Hawks where I asked him to look at the matter holistically,  because the complaints ranged from the senior management of the SAPS right down to the junior level”.