Police condemn shining of laser at Wiltshire Air Ambulance in Devizes
Updated 10:00am Thursday 13th March 2014 in By Lewis Cowen
Devizes police have condemned as stupid and dangerous the actions of someone who shone a laser pointer at the Wiltshire Air Ambulance helicopter as it flew over the town.
The incident took place shortly before 10.30pm on Tuesday, March 11, as the helicopter was flying over the Woodland Way area of the town.
Fortunately, no one in the helicopter was hurt.
Police officers on the ground investigated but were unable to find any evidence that might lead to an arrest and are appealing for information from local people.
PCSO Olly Nash said that anyone caught indulging in this kind of behaviour would be dealt with “robustly”.
He added: “Shining a laser at or into any form of aircraft is an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing to do.
"It can cause serious and permanent damage to the eyesight of the pilot and crew and could potentially cause the aircraft to crash and endanger lives.
“People may be unaware as to how bright a laser looks from inside an aircraft cockpit, and we would like to make them aware that the light emitted from a laser is just as intense and has the same dazzling effect from one mile away as it would have from one meter away.
“All lasers are dangerous in this way when aimed at an aircraft, although the green laser pointers, which are used by astronomers to easily point out stars and constellations, appear brighter from inside the cockpit than the red pointers.”
Wiltshire Air Ambulance posted an open message on Twitter to the "idiot in Devizes" who shone the laser at its helicopter as it prepared to land.
The post, which appeared on the micro-blogging site on Tuesday, added whoever did it had "no idea how dangerous that was".
A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said helicopters were "particularly vulnerable" to lasers.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Devizes police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Comments are closed on this article.