Instead, she had connected with the Durham Constabulary, more than 3,000 miles away in the northeast of England.
Durham Constabulary said in a statement that it was contacted on Wednesday afternoon using an online live chat facility “by a distressed woman” who reported an intruder trying to get into her home in Durham, Canada.
The individual, who the constables described as being “distraught,” was able to convey that she needed urgent help but then her communication abruptly stopped.
A quick-thinking control room worker in the United Kingdom helped save her from immediate danger. Realizing she meant to contact a different Durham police force, the worker kept the live chat open, while his control room colleagues made contact with officers at Durham Regional Police Service in Ontario.
Inspector Hallett, of Communications/9-1-1 “This is certainly a success story of international cooperation between 2 comm centres separated by tremendous distance. We are grateful for the assistance of our @DurhamPolice colleagues in ensuring we received this critical info. https://t.co/28y8YAjZHO— Durham Regional Police (@DRPS) February 11, 2022
Durham police confirmed in a statement that their officers were contacted by the British constables on Wednesday and were immediately dispatched to a residence in the area of Audley Road and Taunton Road East, in the Canadian town of Ajax, where they found a 35-year-old man inside the woman’s house.
When the police arrived, the male suspect fled but was eventually located in a residential yard, Canadian police said, where after an altercation he was arrested. The unnamed suspect, who police said was from Clarington, a nearby area, has been charged with several offenses, including breaking and entering a dwelling and assault.
The victim received medical attention for her injuries, Canadian police said.
Inspector Andrea Arthur, head of the force control room in Durham, England, — a popular college city that is home to about 48,000 people — called it an “an unusual incident.” She praised her team for remaining calm and helping “Canadian colleagues” to resolve the situation quickly.
“If we can assist in rescuing a vulnerable victim in immediate danger, regardless of where they live, we will do all we can to help,” Arthur said.
Inspector Paul Hallett of the Durham Regional Police went further, calling the event “a success story of international cooperation between two police communication centers separated by tremendous distance.”
Canadian police are urging anyone with information about the crime to come forward.