Laser beams being shone at air pilots

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YOBS have again been shining laser pens at aircraft in Calderdale.

Police received reports of two aeroplanes flying over north Halifax being targeted with laser pens shortly before 8.30pm on Sunday.

Officers have searched around Ovenden and Mixenden, and inquiries by neighbourhood policing teams are ongoing to find the culprits.

Police are now warning of the high risks involved in shining laser pens at aircrafts.

They say the practice is very dangerous and offenders could be sent to prison.

Chief Inspector Viv Cutbill, from Calderdale Police, said: “Shining a laser at any aircraft is extremely dangerous as doing so could dazzle or distract the pilot.

“All incidents are treated very seriously and are fully investigated.

“Those convicted at court could face jail.”

The Courier has reported several times of laser pens being shone at aircraft flying over the district, often at West Yorkshire Police’s helicopter while it is responding to calls.

In January, a 12-year-old was taken to task after he shone a laser pen at a police helicopter in Halifax.

When the incident happened, the helicopter was responding to reports of a stolen vehicle escaping from police.

In August last year, a 17-year-old from Halifax was arrested after a laser pen was shone at the police helicopter.

And in Manchester in 2008, a 21-year-old man was jailed after temporarily blinding a police helicopter pilot.

He pointed the pen, which he had bought on the internet, at the aircraft to see how far it reached.

It lit up the whole cockpit, leaving the pilot unable to see properly.

Anyone with information about the laser pen incident on Sunday night is being asked to call the Halifax North and East neighbourhood policing team via 0845 6060606. Information can also be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.