Lethal lasers can be bought by kids

Cam­paign to ban sales to un­der-21s

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel salina.pa­tel@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

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