Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Chasing criminals through Trade Me

Rosalie Liddle Crawford (left) and Kate Percy on the Papamoa log near Harrisons Cut which was put on Trademe to sell last year. Photo/file
Rosalie Liddle Crawford (left) and Kate Percy on the Papamoa log near Harrisons Cut which was put on Trademe to sell last year. Photo/file

Trade Me dealt with 123 police enquiries relating to Bay of Plenty users in the year to July, according to the website's annual transparency report.

They could include requests for member information, advice to withdraw a listing or a request to pass on educational information to a member.

Stolen goods were the subject of 31 per cent of enquiries. Drugs were the topic of 28 per cent of enquiries and non-delivery the cause for 17 per cent.

The report said Trade Me worked with police to keep the site trusted and safe. Police helped ensure sellers who didn't deliver their items were held to account.

Trade Me user Rosalie Crawford said the transparency reports built up a level of trust.

Last year Ms Crawford auctioned an iconic Papamoa log on Trade Me to raise money for food parcels for struggling families.

She said Trade Me had done a lot of work over a long period of time to build up trust and confidence among customers.

It was important to get the right balance between protecting individual privacy and gathering intelligence to help keep communities safe.

Trade Me would want to ensure its customers were feeling a high level of confidence but also that their details were kept safe, she said.

Ms Crawford, who is also the administrator of the Papamoa Facebook page, said people in communities often opted to use online groups rather than Trade Me.

She said she thought people were more likely to sell stolen goods through a free local Facebook group than on Trade Me.

Nationwide, Trade Me received 1508 enquiries from police in the year to July. It received a further 625 request from other Government agencies, according to its transparency report.

Trade Me said other companies should also share member and customer personal information through some form of transparency reporting.

"We believe all New Zealand companies being asked to share member and customer personal information should be explaining what they do and why via some form of transparency reporting," a spokesman said.

Trade Me liaised with 26 Government agencies across more than 30 different pieces of legislation, according to the report.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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