Man arrested over laser shone at PSNI helicopter

A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft after a laser was shone at a police helicopter.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) helicopter was supporting local officers in Newry in the early hours of Saturday morning when the incident took place.

PSNI Air Support tweeted: " Whilst supporting @PSNINewry the helicopter was lasered in Newry resulting in one arrest for endangering aircraft."

The man, who was arrested in the Ardcarn Park area, was bailed to attend a police station for interview at a later date.

Earlier this week, MPs urged the Government to do more to crack down on "dangerous" laser pen attacks against aircraft.

There is increasing concern about the pens being shone in the eyes of pilots and there are now calls for certain high-powered devices to be banned.

More than 8,998 laser incidents across the country were reported to the UK Civil Aviation Authority between 2009 and June 2015.

Last month, a Virgin Atlantic flight to New York JFK returned to Heathrow as a "precautionary measure" after a laser was shone at the cockpit.

Following that incident, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association Jim McAuslan called for lasers to be classed as offensive weapons.

He said: " It is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. Shining a laser at an aircraft puts that aircraft, its crew and all the passengers on board at completely unnecessary risk."


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