It's not just police on pandemic patrol snapping lockdown breachers - their eye in the sky is also working 24/7 to capture people flouting the rules.

The police Eagle helicopter has been hovering across the wider Auckland area since the lockdown started a week ago in a bid to bolster the ground crews.

With most people staying home all day, every day, the sound of the aerial police patrol has been obvious.

But without the usual volume of people out and about on foot and road, what exactly is the chopper and its crew up to?

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Stay home: the streets of Auckland city are empty but the police Eagle helicopter crew are keeping a close eye on the situation. Photo / supplied
Stay home: the streets of Auckland city are empty but the police Eagle helicopter crew are keeping a close eye on the situation. Photo / supplied

"It's a busy, busy time for us," said Inspector Beth Houliston.

"It's business as usual to some degree, Eagle is part of the police response for keeping the community safe.

"That's the really big focus for us over the coming weeks during the level 4 restriction period."

Crew were responding to calls as normal and monitoring traffic around the wider Auckland area, as well as watching for group gatherings in various places.

An image of empty Auckland streets from the police Eagle helicopter. Photo / NZ Police
An image of empty Auckland streets from the police Eagle helicopter. Photo / NZ Police

"What we're seeing from the sky is that the majority of people are being absolutely amazing, staying at home and doing the right thing," said Houliston.

"Unfortunately there are a smaller amount of people still who are using this to their advantage and are still out and about in breach of the restrictions.

"So Eagle is assisting ground staff to identify where there is activity, whether it's groups of people or people being mobile on the road - we can then direct them to the right places."

People out late at night, gathering in groups in public places and cars out of place are all being spotted and watched.

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The chopper is equipped with heat seeking and infrared technology - among other high tech tools - so people out where they potentially should not be are sticking out like a sore thumb.

"We have fantastic technology, in particular at night," said Houliston.

"We have the technology to identify where there is activity then we can direct ground staff to that place.

"The streets are pretty much empty so any movement that there is really obvious… it's easier to be able to identify where people are."

The police Eagle helicopter. Photo / Dean Purcell
The police Eagle helicopter. Photo / Dean Purcell

Houliston said there were still gatherings being busted and they were happening "everywhere".

"Our main focus is on public areas - parks, beaches, reserves - where people congregate in large groups," she said.

"We keep an eye on that.

"We also keep an eye on driver behaviour, people speeding our flouting the road rules - they think there's not as many people on the road so it's okay.

"A key thing for us is the management of safety on the roads so we're not ending up with crashes and putting extra pressure on the medical system."

Houliston said more people were likely to notice Eagle across the days and nights of the national lockdown - and they should get used to the crime-fighting resource.

"We're keeping an eye on your neighbourhood," she said.

"We want to provide some reassurance to the community that we are up there, that we are keeping an eye on everyone."