The goal is to make sure people who purchase items online, such as on Craigslist or Facebook, are safe when they meet strangers in person.
SOUTHBOROUGH – Residents buying items from strangers online have a safe space to conduct the in-person sales.
The Southborough Police Department has set up an “Internet Transaction Safety Zone,” at the new Public Safety Building, 32 Cordaville Road (Rte. 85), Police Chief Kenneth Paulhus said Friday.
The outside meeting zone is in the parking lot, offers video surveillance and is well-lighted he said. The goal is to make sure people who purchase items online, such as on Craigslist or Facebook, are safe when they meet strangers in person.
“We like to provide a safe area to enhance everyone’s safety,” Paulhus said.
If police observe conversations becoming heated, they will intervene, police said.
Southborough is not the only department that has set up a safety zone. Bellingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Milford, Northborough and Upton all have similar areas.
Framingham police do not have a safety zone, but police spokeswoman Lt. Patricia Grigas said people can use the lobby at any time to complete online sales.
Natick police spokeswoman Lt. Cara Rossi said people often use their department’s lobby to conduct transactions originated online.
“We certainly welcome anyone needing a safe place to conduct this type of transaction to use our lobby to do so,” she said. “We are open 24/7/365 and our doors are always open. We do not have signage such as I have seen elsewhere, but it is not uncommon for people to use the lobby or front of the station for this.”
Along with the safety zone, Paulhus said it is safest to conduct the transaction in the safety building’s lobby.
“The SPD strongly encourages the public to come into the lobby to conduct their business as an added measure,” he said. “Anyone not willing to do so should set off a warning sign (to the other party) that they should re-consider the sale.”
Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or email@example.com. For up-to-date crime news, follow Norman Miller on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW or on Facebook at facebook.com/NormanMillerCrime.
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