Lethal lasers can be bought by kids
Campaign to ban sales to under-21s
A CALL to ban the sale of powerful laser pens to anyone under the age of 21 will be made to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
Tony Arbour, London Assembly member for Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston, is urging for tighter restrictions on the sale of the dangerous laser pens which can cause temporary blindness and can be bought for less than £10.
It follows an incident on February 14 in which a Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to return to Heathrow when somebody shone a laser into the cockpit and affected the co-pilot.
Mr Arbour added: “A quick search online shows these laser pens are widely available for less than £10 to anyone who wants to buy one. It is staggering.
“There can be no practical purpose for anyone under the age of 21 to own a blinding laser that has a reach of several miles. I want to make it very difficult for those who would irresponsibly use these powerful devices to get hold of them at all.
“The Civil Aviation Authority has reported more laser incidents at Heathrow than any other airport. Something needs to be done before we have a major disaster on our hands.”
The calls echo pilots’ union, British Airline Pilots Association, which has repeatedly urged the Government to classify lasers as ‘offensive weapons’ which would give police more power to arrest people possessing them with no reason.
Heathrow Airport recently topped the list for the number of most frequent laser incidents for the first six months of last year with 48.
In 2010, a law was passed which made shining a light or laser at a plane a criminal offence.
n BLINDING: A laser forced a plane to return to Heathrow on February 14, prompting fresh calls for restrictions