(ELLIOT LAKE, ON) – The East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are happy to announce that Project Safe Trade is now available at the East Algoma OPP Detachment, 47 Hillside Drive North, Elliot Lake, Ontario.
Project Safe Trade is a community safety initiative that is “municipality driven” in keeping with the community mobilization concepts. The purpose is to create a “community safe zone” at an OPP detachment parking lot, to facilitate online property transactions. The perceived presence of law enforcement ideally may deter unlawful behaviour. Creating a “community safe zone” in police detachment parking lots is about moving online marketplace transactions away from secluded parking lots or private residences and bringing them into public places.
Online classified and auction sites are often used as tools to sell stolen property to unknowing victims and can present a safety threat. In order to increase public safety and reduce crime, the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police is inviting members of the public to use their OPP detachment parking lot to facilitate property transactions arranged online. “I’m very happy to get Project Safe Trade off the ground in East Algoma. It’s such a simple concept, but it presents great potential for crime avoidance and increasing public safety”, states Inspector Tyler Sturgeon, East Algoma OPP Detachment Commander.
- Statistics tell us that only 5% of internet or telephone scams/frauds/thefts are reported.
- Many incidents go unreported due to shame or embarrassment on the part of the victim.
How Can The Community Help?
We need community partners; citizens and neighbours; agencies and police to mobilize for community safety and well-being. Collaborative approaches reduce harm and victimization with the goal of developing long term sustainable solutions.
How Can Project Safe Trade Help?
Creating a “community safe zone” in police detachment parking lots is about moving online marketplace transactions away from secluded parking lots or private residences and bringing them into public places.
What Is The Role Of The Police?
Under normal circumstances there will be no police intervention. Officers will not mediate private transactions, will not provide documentation and will not be a witness to a transaction. However, should one of the parties request an officer, one will respond.
Officers will only intervene if the transaction becomes a bylaw, provincial or criminal matter.
The OPP will be not be able to assist with:
- Negotiating civil property transactions.
- Guaranteeing the quality or authenticity of items purchased online.
- Use of the police computer system to run model numbers, serial numbers, etc. of items that are part of a private exchange. Citizens are encouraged to use the Canadian Police
- Information Centre’s (CPIC) online database to search serial numbers of items they are looking to purchase at www.cpic-cipc.ca
Safe Trade Checklist:
- Meet in a busy public place.
- Meet in person to inspect the product.
- Bring a trusted friend or family member along as a witness.
- Bring a cell phone in case you need to call for help.
- If you must go alone, tell a friend or family member when and where you are meeting someone.
- Keep transactions to daylight hours.
- Don’t invite a stranger into your home. It allows them access to the layout of your house, gives them information regarding alarm systems/dogs and provides a chance to see any valuables you may have.
- Never tell your schedule to a stranger. They do not need to know when you will not be home.
- Don’t erase any e-mails, texts or voicemails between yourself and the seller or buyer.
Keep things local. Never mail a cheque or wire money to sellers.
- Do not give out personal or banking information (social insurance number, back account number, etc.).
For More Information:
- 211 Ontario – Search “Project Safe Trade”
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- Competition Bureau of Canada