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  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dallas, safe zones, ,   

    Are safe exchange zones effective? 

    Are safe exchange zones effective?

    In the wake of the multitude of violent crimes that have been committed through sites like craigslist and apps like OfferUp, a number of police departments across the country have set up safe exchange zones for people to have a safer environment to make transactions. For example, each ad on Geebo contains a link to the SafeTrade Stations initiative which contains a list of all participating police departments across the country. In the Dallas, Texas area, a number of police departments created safe exchange areas after too many high-profile crimes took place where the criminals used classifieds sites or apps to find their victims.

    More recently, another murder has sadly taken place in the Dallas area where the victim was using a classifieds app to try to purchase a cell phone. This has caused Dallas news station WFAA to ask if the safe exchange zones are having any effect to which police departments in North Texas say that the effect has been mixed. A representative of the Arlington Police Department had the following to say on the matter.

    “We know people are utilizing it but unfortunately you still have that segment of the population that is still kind of trusting other individuals and meeting them offsite,” Lt. Christopher Cook said. We still have a lot of our robberies occurring at nighttime unlit places and untraveled locations.”

    A tool is only as good as the person who is using it. If people aren’t using the exchange zones it’s difficult to ascertain their true effectiveness. It seems more like the problem isn’t the zones themselves but the education and publicizing of these zones.

     
  • Geebo 8:59 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AB297, craigslist bill, , safe zones   

    Does Nevada’s new ‘craigslist law’ really protect consumers? 

    Does Nevada's new 'craigslist law' protect consumers?

    Earlier this week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed bill AB297 into law. The bill, known as the ‘craigslist bill’, was sponsored by State Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui of Las Vegas. The law now states that each police department within Nevada will now have at least one area dedicated to online transactions that must be within the confines of the police department. While some departments in Nevada already have these safe zones, other departments will have until September 30th to comply. The question remains, will this actually protect classifieds users from potential robberies and other violence?

    Safe zones in police stations are unfortunately nothing new. It’s been suggested for years that people should use police department grounds to complete classifieds transactions. The common belief is either a potential criminal will refuse to meet their target at a police station or that no one will try anything foolish at a police station.

    While this law will go a long way in protecting some consumers and bring awareness to the dangers of craigslist, a large number of the populace will not use these safe zones. A lot of people in poorer and urban areas have a distrust of police. Whether or not that distrust is warranted is a topic for another day, but it is a reality. Consumers in these areas will continue to practice unsafe transactions just to avoid any involvement from police.

    This is also not taking into account that someone may actually try to commit a robbery or something else in one of these safe zones. If you think about it, a number of the old rules no longer apply to safe transactions. The rules used to be you takes someone with you to the transaction and meet them in public during the day. This hasn’t stopped robberies and murders committed through craigslist from taking place in public during the day. Just recently in Georgia, a man was killed in a restaurant parking lot during the afternoon after a craigslist transaction went wrong. Therefore, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for someone to try to commit a crime right in front of police.

    While the legislation is well-intentioned, it’s doubtful it will have much effect since safe zones across the country have not slowed the march of crime on craigslist. This legislation shouldn’t have even come to this. If craigslist actually took some basic steps to try to protect their users this wouldn’t even be an issue. Instead craigslist continues to stick its head in the sand where they still think it’s 1996.

     
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