06/17/2013 08:45 EDT | Updated 08/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Abbotsford Police Pepper Sprayed Homeless, Alleges Group

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The chief constable in Abbotsford, B.C., has asked the province's police watchdog to investigate allegations that officers pepper sprayed homeless individuals and damaged their tents.

Police in the Fraser Valley city says the allegations were made during the meeting of a local social-development advisory group last week.

Concerned about the allegations, Chief Const. Bob Rich has asked the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner to investigate the issue.

The department says it does not authorize or approve of its officers damaging personal property.

Civilian investigators will determine the complaint's validity, and police say, if necessary, hold any officers involved to account.

The issue of homelessness in the Fraser Valley arose recently when city workers dumped chicken manure on a homeless camp and were then forced to clean it up amidst a public outcry.

Also on HuffPost

Verde Gardens Bring New Life for Homeless