Western Morning News

Prison warning as police helicopter targeted by ‘laser strike’


A POLICE helicopter was targeted in a ‘laser strike’ in Exeter, the National Police Air Service (NPAS) has revealed.

Officers say they were “seconds away from pinpointin­g” the culprit’s “exact location” in the Bonhay Road area on Monday night – and that they could have faced five years in prison if they were caught.

The helicopter had been deployed to help locate a vulnerable young man when the aircraft was targeted with a green laser, which can potentiall­y dazzle and distract the aircrew and endanger lives.

On twitter, a spokespers­on for NPAS said: “**LASER STRIKE** To whoever shone a green laser at us from the Bonhay Road area of Exeter just now, you’re very lucky.

“We were seconds away from pinpointin­g your exact location when you stopped. DO NOT DO IT AGAIN

You can receive a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

“Crew are absolutely thank you to those asking

“This was a serious distractio­n for an emergency aircraft deployed to help locate a young man who was considerin­g taking his own life. Please stop and think... we don’t fly for no reason, especially at night.”

Elsewhere police officers fined a parent for giving their daughter a fine but driving lesson in Camborne during the COVID-19 coronaviru­s lockdown. The force has issued detailed guidance on its website about how it is interpreti­ng and applying the lockdown laws – but this did not cover driving lessons.

The website says: “There are no specific guidelines or legislatio­n that prohibit going for a drive. However, we ask that you only leave your home for essential travel.”

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