Barnstaple phone ‘mix-up’: Devon crash reported to Massachusetts police – BBC News

Media captionAmerican Police called to crash 3,000 miles away in Devon

A woman from Barnstaple, Devon, who accidentally called police 3,000 miles away in Barnstable, Massachusetts, has blamed a computer search programme for the mix-up.

She called police to report a car crash near Muddiford on Monday.

But she ended up speaking to police in the USA after using Windows ‘digital assistant’ Ask Cortana to find the number.

“I haven’t stopped laughing,” she said.

The call lasted two and a half minutes before American officer Mark McWilliams realised it was from England.

More on this story and others from Devon and Cornwall

Image copyright Barnstable Police Department
Image caption Barnstable Police Department in Massachusetts is more than 3,000 miles from Barnstaple in Devon

Image caption Officer Mark McWilliams said the response time would be ‘more than six hours’

Image caption Chief of Police for Barnstable in Massachusetts, Paul MacDonald

Paul MacDonald, Chief of Police for Barnstable, Massachusetts said: “It’s not unusual for us to have tourists or guests from England but this is the first time someone called from England to report a motor vehicle crash.”

The English caller, who lives in Ilfracombe, said: “The more I hear it the more I laugh.”

“My friends asked Cortana and the phone number came up so I pressed it and that’s how I was speaking to police in Massachusetts.”

Barnstable, Massachusetts is twinned with the north Devon town.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Barnstaple Police Station in Devon

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-37418691