When Marget Lieder accidentally dialed 9-1-1, while meaning to dial 4-1-1 for information, she thought nothing of simply hanging up and dialing again – but that was before a group of officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police broke down her door and arrested her and her partner.It took them two visits.
On the evening of Oct. 25, Lieder, who lives in North Vancouver, B.C., was drinking wine with her partner, Larry Pierce, and a house guest when she misdialed the information number and reached emergency services instead. After immediately hanging up the phone, the police called her back to say that 2 officers were being sent to her home to confirm that she was not in danger. They would, she was told, search her house when they arrived.
"I don't want my privacy to be invaded just because I misdial a number," she explained to the officer on the telephone.
Lieder refused to allow the officers who arrived into her home, speaking to them only on the porch from where they could see "the peaceful atmosphere" in her living room.
Const. John MacAdam, a spokesman for the North Vancouver RCMP, said he could not comment on the incident but defended the practice of searching homes after a 9-1-1 caller hangs up the phone, noting that it is common for a spousal abuse victim to say nothing is wrong after police respond to a call.
So in effect, since real victims sometimes decide not to report the crime after all, the police are justified in doing what it takes to find evidence of a crime, once someone has come to their attention.