Region-based image retrieval has been proven to be effective in finding relevant images. In this paper, we propose a cuboid im-age segmentation method which results in rectangle image partitions. Rectangle partitions are more suitable for image compression, retrieval and other image operations. We apply partitions in image retrieval in this paper. Our experimental results have shown that (1) the proposed partitioning method is effective in segmenting images into meaningful rectangles; (2) using colour partitions for image retrieval is more effective than using whole images; and (3) the partitioned approach has additional advantage of letting users to select certain objects/colours as queries to find more relevant images/objects. These three advantages could be important in crime scene investigation image indexing and retrieval. Moreover, the proposed technique is amenable to compressed-domain applications.