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Boston councilor proposes ‘safe spaces’ for online purchases

City Councilor Matt O'Malley is offering a resolution to establish safe spaces in Boston where people could receive goods they purchase online.

E-commerce exchange zones, as they’d be called, would provide “a safe, well-lit and neutral location” for completing transactions made on Craigslist and other websites, at little cost to the city, according to the plan. O'Malley will offer the resolution at a council meeting Wednesday.

He said Police Commissioner William B. Evans supports the proposal.

“People can make any arrangements they could be comfortable with,” O’Malley said. “This is an opportunity for them to take advantage of a safe space.”


The resolution notes that people can feel vulnerable meeting a stranger to pick up a purchase and that designated safe spaces could include police stations, lobbies, and other sites that are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In July, police in the town of Georgetown designated two “Online Safe Zones” outside department headquarters. Similar programs exist in several states across the country.

Andrew Ryan of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Alexandra Koktsidis can be reached at alexandra.koktsidis@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @akoktsidis.