The Pye Bantam was the first portable radio in general use by the police.
25 sets were introduced for use by armed offender squads and special operations
in 1965 in Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Napier, New Plymouth, Wellington
and Palmerston North. A further 20 units were later issued for use in
South Island Districts
It was fully transistorised, but was still
too large and cumbersome for use by beat officers. (Because it operated
in the 40MHz band the aerial had to be around 2 metres long for satisfactory
Several Bantams operating on the 119.1
MHz air to ground frequency remained in use with Search and Rescue squads
until the late 1970's
Members of the Auckland Armed Offender
squad equipped with Pye Bantam portables.