Mass. Police Confused When 911 Caller With British Accent Starts Naming Towns They've Never Heard Of

September 21, 2016Sep 21, 2016

Apple's Siri help system mistakenly tried to lead Massachusetts police on a wild goose chase recently when it failed to correctly interpret a 911 caller's voice commands.

Authorities in Barnstable, Massachusetts were bewildered when a woman with a thick British accent reported a driver weaving all over the road and said she was between two towns they had never heard of.

After repeated requests for clarification, the officer speaking directly with the woman at length had a sudden realization. The woman was calling from over 3,000 miles away. Apparently, the Siri help system on the woman's iPhone misinterpreted her command to call the "Barnstaple Police Department" in the UK as the "Barnstable Police Department" in Massachusetts. The phonetic difference between the two towns' names is subtle, especially with a British accent.

The officer and the caller had a good laugh about the mixup and were grateful her emergency had fizzled out without injury.