Toronto Police Const. Antoinette Rowe, pictured in 2015 upon her return to Haiti. (Toronto Police Service)

Surrey U.K. police officers help save woman in Surrey B.C. after mixup

Canadian officer helped liaison rescue effort

British police officers were able to help a Canadian woman in distress after she confused the Surrey, U.K. and Surrey, B.C. police services.

Surrey Police, based out of Surrey, U.K., issued a press release Jan. 4 explaining that their social media operator was contacted on Facebook messenger Christmas morning by a suicidal woman in Surrey, B.C.

“In an amazing coincidence,” the release states, Toronto Police Service Const. Antoinette Rowe was visiting the Surrey Police detachment with childhood friend and Surrey Police officer Vanessa Reynolds when the message for help was received.

Rowe was asked to assist with the call, and contacted police in B.C. to relay the information.

“It helped that Vanessa Reynolds’ friend (PC Rowe) was in the contact centre at the time and was able to use her contacts to get information and we were able to work it out in the end and we were delighted to hear from an officer in Canada that they had been found and were being given the help they needed,” Surrey Police contact centre operator Ellie Benson said in the news release.

“It was a great Christmas coincidence and I’m delighted that it had a positive ending. It warmed the heart on Christmas morning.”

Rowe said in the release that she was in the Surrey Police detachment kitchen area when she was approached by Surrey Police supervisor Jake Boatman and several other dispatchers.

“I was advised that a 23 year old female had contacted the Surrey Police Facebook page, believing that she was communicating with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Facebook page, located in Surrey, British Columbia. She was clearly distraught, and having suicidal thoughts,” Rowe said.

Rowe said she reached out to colleagues in Toronto, before speaking with a dispatcher at the Vancouver Police Department, and then ultimately speaking with a Surrey RCMP dispatcher.

“By the time we had managed to get through to the Surrey Dispatch Centre, additional information was provided to us via Ellie, who had been instrumental in eliciting critical information about this particular caller,” Rowe said in the release. “The RCMP call taker was able to immediately identify the female through their computer system, and dispatched two officers to her home address. Once this had been confirmed, the phone call ended from our end.”

Within a matter of minutes, Rowe continued, Surrey RCMP sent Surrey Police a Facebook message, saying that the woman in distress had been located and taken to the hospital.

Benson said in the release that Surrey Police receives a number of message from people who have mixed up Surrey, U.K., with Surrey, B.C.

“This just goes to show that where saving a life is concerned borders and time zones don’t matter and we will do what we can to help our friends in blue around the world,” Surrey Police assistant chief Const. Nev Kemp said in the release.

Just Posted

Dust advisory issued for Williams Lake area

It is anticipated high concentrations of dust will persist for another 24 hours

POLICE: ‘Don’t leave children unattended in vehicles’

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Williams Lake hires corporate engagement officer

Guillermo Angel, 28, was working at RBC and when the opportunity to work for the City emerged, he said he jumped at the chance

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Williams Lake celebrates its 90th birthday

Day celebrated with cake and tea

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Most Read