Incident, Enquiry and Crime Cars

In 1969 the police introduced a new system for responding to incidents. Police districts were divided into geographical areas and each area was assigned an Incident or "I" car 24 hours a day. These were marked patrol vehicles, crewed by two constables whose responsibility was to provide initial response to all incidents within their area.

The "I" car crew would deal with the immediate needs of the incident and obtain all the information and evidence available at the scene. They would then forward the details to Enquiry officers who would conduct follow up enquiries or other action. The Enquiry or "E" patrols were crewed by one, usually senior, constable and they worked morning and afternoon shifts only.


For response to serious crimes, CIB offices in the main cities provided plain Crime or "C" cars, crewed by either two Detectives, or a Detective and a Constable. Crime cars attended serious crime scenes, and, as they carried firearms in the vehicles, they were usually part of the first respionse to incidents involving armed offenders.


With the new patrol types came a new call sign system to assist the dispatchers identify who did what. The use of vehicle fleet number (the numeric part of the car registration number) as a call sign was discontinued for these types of patrols, and the call sign became the name of the patrol area, followed by "I" "E" or "C".


Examples of Auckland area callsigns were "City I", "Ponsonby E", "Newmarket C"


Vehicles not being used on I, E or C patrols continued to use the numbers of the registration plate as a callsign until the introduction of Computer Assisted Dispatch in the late 1970's. For example, for several years in the mid 70's the Auckland City Sergeants Holden HQ patrol car had the registration number HR400, so "400" was the Sergeants callsign.

more about radio procedures >>

Early Call signs