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Ottawa police set up 'safe-trade zones' for person-to-person sales

Ottawa Police safe trade zone
The safe trade zone at Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin Street Photo by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

Ottawa police have set up three “safe-trading zones” to provide a level of security for people engaged in personal web shopping and trading.

A growing number of police services have created this sort of protected zone for person-to-person online marketing.

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“Websites are often used as tools to sell property and can present a personal safety risk due to the high volume of thefts and robberies that can occur during these transactions,” police said in a news release.

Ottawa Citizen

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“Creating Safe Trade parking spaces at OPS stations is about moving transactions away from secluded parking lots or private residences and bringing them into public places.”

The Safe Trade spots are clearly marked by signage and a blue handshake logo painted on the pavement to help participants identify where to conduct a safe exchange.

Safe Trade locations at OPS facilities are at:

When buying or selling items, here are some safety tips:

Police note that the safe trade zones are not monitored 24/7.

They also cautioned that OPS does not assume any responsibility for any transactions or mediate the use of its premises for this purpose.

Gatineau police created two “neutral zones” for online sales last December. Both are in parking lots near police stations: at 590 Gréber Blvd. in the Gatineau sector and at 777 de la Carrière Blvd. in the Hull sector.

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