Cyber shoppers in Napanee will now have a secure spot to complete their transactions as Greater Napanee council voted last week to designate the Strathcona Paper Centre as a “‘safe exchange zone.”
Following the advice of a report put together by the town staff, council voted unanimously to name the arena as a place for locals to meet and complete transactions agreed upon from sites like Craigslist or Kijiji. The sites are a popular place for people to post items for sale and then arrange to have a buyer meet them in person to pick it up and pay for it. Often times that occurs at the seller’s home.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said councillor Max Kaiser, who put forward the motion of adapting the report and naming the SPC as the safe exchange zone. “I recognize and appreciate that there’s no requirement or responsibility on the part of staff at the facility. It’s just providing a space with the coverage of a closed circuit TV camera. Anyone doing an exchange can feel some sense of safety at a neutral place.”
Deputy mayor Marg Isbester also supported the idea, acknowledging that it makes transactions between strangers a little safer. She noted that several other communities across Canada are doing the same thing following the Tim Bosma case. Back in 2013 the Ancaster, Ont. native was murdered by two strangers he had arranged to meet online in an attempt to sell his pick-up truck. In that instance, the two men met Bosma at his house and then took him for a test drive from which he never returned.
Residents of Napanee will now be encouraged to meet at the SPC arena for their online selling deals, where they will be in a well lit area with people around and closed circuit cameras.