Cape Town - The Western Cape Police Ombudsman
(WCPO) has revealed that it had
received more than 700 complaints
against poor police and metro police
services in the 2019/2020 financial
year, which ended on March 31.
(WCPO) has revealed that it had received more than 700 complaints against poor police and metro police services in the 2019/2020 financial year, which ended on March 31.
Provincial Police Ombudsman Johan Brand said his office received 70% more complaints during the 2019/2020 financial year compared to the previous financial year, with most of the complaints emanating from the Cape Town Metropole in the Western Cape.
Brand said the financial year marked a total receipt of 734 complaints for the provincial Police Ombudsman’s office, “bringing the total number of complaints received to 2619 since the inception of the office in 2015”.
“The increase in complaints received during the previous financial year shows that communities are indeed more aware of the existence of my office. However, I want to encourage citizens to lodge complaints of service delivery inefficiencies against the South African Police Service as well as the Cape Town Metro Police,” Brand said.
He said his office commended those agencies that were doing their best to keep the streets and communities safe, “and we encourage all to respect the rule of law during this time”.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said he had also written to Brand, requesting that he investigate allegations of police inefficiencies at the Muizenberg and Steenberg police stations during the lockdown.
Fritz said the request had been made in terms of Section 17(2) of the Western Cape Community Safety Act (Act 3 of 2013) which stated that “if a member of the Provincial Parliament refers a matter contemplated in subsection (1) to the Ombudsman, he or she must conduct an investigation into that matter”.
“The incidents of police inefficiencies include the alleged threatening of an elderly woman, a pregnant woman and several Muizenberg residents at Muizenberg police station,” Fritz pointed out.
He said reports of police inefficiencies were not limited to Muizenberg station alone and there were more frequently reported cases of police inefficiencies in more vulnerable communities. Fritz said it was unacceptable that the police should act so aggressively towards the residents that they were duty-bound to serve.
“We must always remember that every single person has a responsibility to help in flattening the Covid-19 curve. We need to abide by the law, and keep a distance at all times. You must stay home if you can and you must avoid all gatherings, because this is how the virus spreads,” he said.
The public has been encouraged to keep lodging complaints with the ombudsman, “as our office remains open during the Covid-19 lockdown period, although no face to face consultations are being conducted. Citizens are welcomed to lodge their complaints via email ([email protected]), through our website or on 0214830669”, Brand said.