Man, 60, cautioned for shining laser pen at police helicopter out of upstairs window

12 February 2024, 10:29

Man cautioned for pointing laser pen at police helicopter
Man cautioned for pointing laser pen at police helicopter. Picture: X/@HantsPolRoads

By StephenRigley

A 60-year-old man has been cautioned after shining a laser beam at a police helicopter.

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A National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter had been dispatched from Bournemouth to Southampton to help find a vehicle which had failed to stop for police.

While flying over Portswood, a laser was shone at the cockpit of the helicopter.

Officers on the ground traced the source to a house and arrested a man for offences under the Laser Misuse Act 2018.

The man was taken into custody and a laser device was seized.

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A spokesman for Hampshire Roads Policing Unit said on Saturday: “Earlier today we had a vehicle which failed to stop for us in Southampton.

“We were thankful for the assistance from NPAS who attended from Bournemouth to help with the search for the vehicle.

“However, this clearly was not appreciated by everyone as the aircraft was targeted from an address in the Portswood area by a laser device, which was quickly identified by NPAS.

“Being close by, we were more than happy to assist our high-flying colleagues and locate the suspect.”

People who target aircraft, road vehicles, or boats risk facing a 12-month prison sentence under the Laser Misuse Act 2018.

During July and August last year, five separate flights – either departing or arriving at Southampton Airport – were targeted with lasers, with the airport describing the incidents as “reckless”.

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