Merseyside Police has arrested a man on suspicion of endangering an aircraft following an incident in Wirral in the early hours of this morning, Thursday 16 September.
At around 1.30am, the National Air Support Service (NPAS) helicopter was in the Beechwood area when they reported a laser pen being pointed at the aircraft. Evasive action was required and enquiries led to a location in Beechwood being identified. A man was detained and a further search of the premises located a suspected laser pen.
A 33-year-old man from Beechwood was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft/dazzle or distract a pilot and taken to a police station for questioning. He remains in custody at the time of writing.
A Merseyside Police spokesperson said, “The dangers of such reckless behaviour are clear to see. Laser pens shone into the cockpit of a plane or helicopter can temporarily blind the pilot and crew, so this incident could have had catastrophic consequences for the crew and the lives of people on the ground.
“In this case, our colleagues at NPAS were able to pinpoint the source of the light using on-board technology and direct patrols on the ground to the location and quickly arrest the individual responsible. We will do all in our powers to identify and detain those we suspect of such incidents.
“Laser pens are not toys and it is vital that people understand the risks they pose. I would encourage people not to play with them. To endanger an aircraft in this way is a criminal offence and we will arrest people if there is evidence to suggest they have committed this crime.”
Anyone with information about such offences is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 999 if a crime is in progress, via @MerPolCC or 101, or anonymously via on 0800 555 111.
Image (stock): NPAS