The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has launched a new program to help people using online markets such as Craigslist, Kijiji and Facebook.
The APD has designated a pair of parking spots right in front of their headquarters as safe exchange zones monitored by video.
“We all feel a little bit vulnerable… because you’re going to meet in a parking lot, it’s in the middle of the public, but somehow you have this feeling that people think you’re doing something wrong.
“It feels very sketchy, so we wanted to address people feeling uncomfortable, or not being able to figure out an area where they’re able to meet, or having to go to somebody’s house.”
Abbotsford police point out that officers are unable to assist in transactions.
WATCH: Craigslist exchanges can be made at VPD
In 2015, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) said members of the public can use the police station as a safe zone for Craigslist purchases.
Police recommend you set up your exchange during daylight hours — and say they won’t get involved in transactions — they’re just there to prevent ripoffs.
The San Francisco-based website has long said that Craigslist meetups should take place in public areas. The site recently updated its personal safety page, suggesting that people “consider making high-value exchanges at your local police station.”
The VPD is one of several North American police forces that allow Craigslist exchanges in or near police stations. Other cities include Seattle, Chicago, and Hartford, Conn.