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Group ME

Group Me is a crime prevention group texting process administrated by Kingston Police beat officers working together with downtown businesses.

The program keeps participants informed and communicating with the police and each other regarding suspicious or illegal activity, which could impact their business. 

This information sharing can:

  • Provide instant alerts for retailers of shoplifting suspects
  • Offer another option for communication between the downtown community and police
  • Help deter future criminal activity
  • Be used to assist in locating missing persons in the downtown core 

Getting your business involved

You can complete and submit the Group Me Registration Form.

  • All named participants must read and agree to the Downtown Business Group Me Terms of Use.
  • Once registered, participants will receive a text message in the form of a cellular number with a unique area code.
  • Participants must save the number as a Group Me contact on their cell phone. At this point the user will be able to receive information and will be able to text information to the group. 
  • Other businesses will not be given your contact information and the unique cellular number will be the only data shared by all involved.

Downloading the app

For those with smartphones an app can be downloaded for free at iPhone app or Android app. This is not required to have your phone work, as they are only text messages, but the application interface can be easier to view.

How does it work

Participants who voluntarily join are connected through the program to communicate via text messages. These messages will also be shared with Kingston Police beat officers.


A person enters a business and his behaviour is deemed suspicious by the staff. The person exits the store without committing a criminal act. Staff may not feel that the persons actions merit calling police to file a report, however the information about the suspicious person can still be immediately shared with the beat officer and other businesses owners through Group Me. 

The business owner could text: Male, white, 40-50 years of age, heavy set, short graying hair wearing white t-shirt and jeans just left (name of business or general area) and appeared to want to steal but did not. Male walked west on Princess Street.

Filing a report You cannot file a report through Group Me, you must call police directly or complete an online report. In case of an emergency, call 911.

Once police are contacted, you are encouraged to share the information with other registered business members through Group Me. Sharing the information may prevent further victimization before the suspect is identified and arrested.


It is important to note that businesses are responsible for text message charges incurred or data usage on smart phones if the app is used. Each person participating as a contact for their respective business will require a cell phone.

As this program is voluntary, removal of contact information from the list will be accommodated upon written request. Please be aware that inappropriate use of this program could result in removal.

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