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Police creating ‘safe zones’ for those buying and selling online

Kijiji
Police in several Canadian jurisdictions are creating “safe zones” at police stations for those buying and selling items online. Kijiji screengrab

Police in several Canadian jurisdictions are creating “safe zones” at police stations for those buying and selling items online.

The safe zones will provide extra security for those doing face-to-face transactions that were arranged on Internet classified sites like Kijiji or Craigslist. 

Niagara Regional Police is the latest to move forward with the idea, according to the Welland Tribune. Orangeville, Ont., Midland, Ont., and Vancouver have also recently offered the service.

“People are free to meet in front of the police station or in the lobby as an added security measure when making a Craigslist purchase,” said Brian Montague, spokesperson for the Vancouver police department in an interview with Global News. “They must realize that the police station is a very busy place of business and ask that they use common sense if they choose to meet there.”

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On its personal safety page, Craigslist says “consider making high-value exchanges at your local police station.”

Personal safety during online transactions has long been a concern for consumers and sellers.

The move for “safe zones” comes in the wake of Tim Bosma’s disappearance and murder in May 2013. The 32-year-old Ancaster, Ont. man disappeared after placing an online ad for his Dodge Ram truck. Bosma was last seen in the company of two men who had responded to the ad. His remains were found several days later. The case is currently before the courts.

Other cities that allow exchanges in or near police stations include Seattle, Chicago and Hartford, Connecticut.

With files from Jon Azpiri and James Armstrong 

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