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First on EWN: Have criminal syndicates infiltrated the Hawks?

Officials have told EWN conflict within the Hawks affects its ability to generate intelligence.

FILE: Police officials have told Eyewitness News that the ongoing battles in the organisation's leading crime fighting unit are crippling its ability to generate intelligence, which is evident in the police's annual reports. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Police officials have told Eyewitness News that the ongoing battles in the organisation's leading crime fighting unit are crippling its ability to generate intelligence, which is evident in the police's annual reports.

Two senior Hawks officials are accused by the Police Ministry of orchestrating the illegal rendition of five Zimbabweans in 2010.

It's understood informants are now reluctant to cooperate with their handlers because they fear the police have been infiltrated by the same criminal syndicates they're reporting on.

Police annual reports studied by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) show a decrease in the production of intelligence over the past three years, which correlates with the upward trend of crimes committed by syndicates.

Officials have told EWN that informants don't know who to trust as its emerged the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is also probing allegations that such gangs have infiltrated the police.

The ISS's Johan Burger says criminal groups have taken advantage of the situation.

"Criminals see these types of internal battles happening within the police service, they see signs of weakness in the police service. They see a police service increasingly looking inward."

The police did not respond to questions.