To help reduce the risks of meeting up with strangers to buy or sell items advertised on websites like Kijiji or Craigslist, Winnipeg police stations are now offering "Buy and Sell Exchange Zones" to host in-person buyer and seller transactions. With exchange zones located at all four of the city's main police stations, Winnipeg police hope to promote a safe, secure place for the public to conduct these types of transactions.
Members of the local public are invited to take advantage of these safety zones and encouraged to conduct their Kijiji exchanges during daylight hours while the station is still open and active, in order to reduce the risk even further.
Of course, we're talking about a police station here, so only legal exchanges are welcome in these areas. Any transactions involving weapons, guns, or other illegal products or services are obviously not permitted. Any suspected criminal activity should be reported to the police immediately. Keep in mind, these exchange zones are also under video surveillance to protect buyers and sellers from unsafe behaviours. That said, police officers at the station will not be available to conduct or mediate the exchange on your behalf. The Winnipeg Police Force accepts no responsibility for any transactions that take place in the Buy and Sell Exchange Zones.
The buy and sell exchange zones in Winnipeg are available at the following locations, which also outline their operating times:
District 1: Downtown245 Smith StreetOpen 24
District 2: West2321 Grant Avenue8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.7 days a week
District 3: North260 Hartford Ave8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.7 days a week District 4: East 1750 Dugald Road8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.7 days a week
This move comes after several cases of Canadians being victimized while engaging in a buyer-seller transaction through sites like Kijiji or Craigslist. In one recent incident, an Ontario man was arrested after using pepper spray to assault and then attempted to rob the seller.
In another case, a BC man was robbed at gunpoint after meeting up with a potential buyer for a watch he was trying to sell on Craigslist.
Even when using an official safety zone at a designated Winnipeg police station, it's important to remain cautious anytime you seek to buy or sell anything through an online exchange forum. Stay safe!