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Man arrested in London for shining a laser at a police helicopter

The 46-year-old was let off with a caution.

Image: Katie Colllins/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A 46-YEAR-OLD man got a slap on the wrist from police in London early this morning for shining a laser directly at a helicopter.

The crew of the Metropolitan Police craft used their video equipment to trace the source of a laser beam that was shone at them at about 12.40am.

Local police officers on the ground were then directed to the St Paul’s Cray area of the city. The suspect was arrested at the identified address and a laser pen recovered.

He was taken to a local station where he admitted the offence. He was let off with a police caution for endangering the safety of an aircraft.

The incident occurred following speculation that the crash in Glasgow on Friday night could have been caused by a similar action.

Detectives investigating the Clutha tragedy have said they will keep an open mind in relation to the theory and investigators are examining the possibility that the pilot was distracted by a laser pen shone from the ground.

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The Civil Aviation Authority in the UK and the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) have warned about the increasing dangers of laser attacks. They say the number of incidents has continued to grow since 2008.

Shining a light at an aircraft is a criminal offence and can carry a penalty of up to five years in prison.

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