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Halifax police probe allegations that evidence was mishandled, staffers on leave

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WATCH: Four civilian employees of the Halifax Regional Police force have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the improper handling of seized items. Jeremy Keefe reports – Nov 2, 2018

Halifax police are investigating their own staff over allegations that property was mishandled.

They say the property, in the force’s property and exhibit section, had been designated for destruction.

Four civilian employees have been placed on administrative leave.

READ: Halifax police say missing drug exhibits were likely destroyed, not misappropriated

Chief Jean-Michel Blais says it’s unknown whether there was any criminal activity, but they wanted to alert the public to the investigation in the interests of transparency.

The force says the section handles property that is seized, surrendered or found, while the exhibits are kept for investigative and court purposes, as well as to return property to its owners.

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It says these exhibits do not include property related to drug investigations.

“On Wednesday, information came to light internally that led to questions about the handling of property designated for destruction, and a criminal investigation was immediately initiated,” said Blais in a statement.

“At this time, it is unknown if there will be grounds for criminal charges. Although that process is still at a preliminary stage, in the interest of transparency and public interest, we chose to communicate the available information. HRP will also conduct a review into the circumstances.”

The force says more details will be released as the process unfolds.