Key Points:

Police are calling for prepaid cellphone customers to be registered on a national database to stop criminals using the phones.

Criminals are known to use the phones, which can be purchased without identification, because they believe they cannot be traced and can be disposed of easily.

Detective Senior Sergeant Darrin Thomson, of the Wellington metro crime unit, said the phones provided a "significant challenge" for police and requiring people to provide identification to buy one would help catch criminals.

"The use of prepaid cellular phones is a common use amongst the criminal fraternity, particularly at the higher level, and anything that would help us thwart that anonymity would be fabulous," he told The Dominion Post.

Vodafone said it would support a government-mandated register and Telecom said it was open to discussions.