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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

School District 82’s first week of in-person class is in the books

First classes held since schools closed March 17 due to COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read