A NEW Knutsford firm has found itself taking calls about crime after being given the old number for the town’s police HQ by a telephone company.

Matt Raw, 31, has recently set up Locksmiths of Knutsford from his base in Tabley Close but has found he has been receiving calls from residents eager to contact the town’s boys and girls in blue.

Matt has been running the business for the past few months after returning to his hometown after more than 10 years away.

He was issued with the number – 01565 633404 – by BT after requesting for a number beginning with ‘6’.

But ever since he has been getting calls from worried townsfolk who have asked for the town’s police force.

The number was last used by Knutsford Police in 2006.

“I seem to have the old police station number,” he told the Guardian.

“I’ve never asked for more details but I’ve been receiving a good few calls. People have been saying ‘hello is that Knutsford police?’ and I’ve had to tell them to redial 101.

“There was a lady who called the other day and insisted she wanted to speak to someone at the station but I had to tell her I was a locksmith and couldn’t help her.”

Matt said he believed BT couldn’t do anything about it and added he had already ordered his business stationery so didn’t want to ask BT again for another number.

“It’s possible that people still have the number in their diary and when they go to ring the police it’s there,” he added.

“If it’s an emergency you always expect people will dial 999 but there’s a danger – especially with elderly people – that they will ring a local number because they think they will get there faster than one which goes through a switchboard.”

A spokesman for BT said: “‘Recycling’ numbers is not uncommon due to the high demand for communications services these days.

“However, it is six years since this was the police number – that is a long time for this sort of thing.

“We try to avoid issues like this, but if a customer is unhappy we would normally offer a re-number.”

l For Knutsford Police call 101 or in an emergency 999.

Talk about this on our website at knutsfordguardian.co.uk.