Woman Mistakenly Calls Barnstable, Mass. Police – From Barnstaple, England

BARNSTABLE (CBS) — It took a woman calling Barnstable Police to report a reckless driver a few minutes to realize she’d called authorities on the wrong continent.

The caller phoned police in the Cape Cod town last Thursday–but she was actually calling from Barnstaple, a town in Devon, England, over 3,000 miles away.

In the call above, Officer Mark McWilliams, the Barnstable Police dispatcher, struggles to understand exactly where the woman is calling from. She mentions the towns of Ilfracombe and Muddiford, which he’s never heard of.

“You’re not local, are you?” the woman asks at one point. “Because Ilfracombe is the next town over from Muddiford.”

In the end, McWilliams figures out that she’s calling from across the pond.

“So you’ve called the Barnstable Police Department,” he says. “In Massachusetts.”

“There’s no way you can help me then, is there?” she jokes in response.

According to BBC News, her friends used her Windows “digital assistant” to find the number for Barnstaple Police, but the device misunderstood, and the number for the stateside department with a similar name came up.

“Our response time is gonna be about six hours,” McWilliams says before the call ends.

McWilliams, a 16-year veteran patrolman, said he had never heard anything like the call, and it was the first time the department had received a call from across the pond.

“To be honest I really thought it was a prank and it was someone I knew or someone calling in for something else,” McWilliams laughed.


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