A MAN has been arrested in connection with a laser strike on a police helicopter which occurred while officers were searching for a vulnerable missing person in Redditch.
The aircraft was flying over Batchley when it was targeted with a laser beam yesterday (Sunday) at about 3am and the National Police Air Service took to Twitter today to pinpoint the address of the ‘laser-lout’.
Concerns are growing among the Government, civil Aviation Authority and police services after more than 1,800 similar incidents have taken place over the last year.
Ollie Dismore, director of operations for the National Police Air Service said: “The impact on a pilot is at the very least distracting, but can be serious enough to cause temporary ‘flash’ blindness and in some cases , lasting eye damage.
“What may seem harmless fun to the culprit could potentially have devastating consequences for the crew and passengers in the aircraft as well as innocent members of public on the ground. In serious cases, using a laser pointer in this way can carry a prison sentence.
“We are working with colleagues from across the UK aviation sector in order to manage this risk and to reduce the number of flight crews that become victims of these attacks. We are currently conducting a laser eyewear protection trial which we hope will better support us to protect our staff against this threat in future.”