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Arrest as laser pen aimed at helicopter.

A HELICOPTER pilot was put in danger as he was dazzled by a laser pen torch.

Officers from Chester-le-Street raced to the Arnison Centre at Pity Me, County Durham, at around 11.30pm last Friday following a request for assistance from the pilot of the police helicopter, which flies out of Newcastle.

A Durham force spokeswoman said: "Officers from Chester-le-Street responded to a request for assistance from colleagues on the North East Air Support Unit helicopter, which had been passing over the shopping centre, when they were dazzled from the ground by someone shining a laser pen at the aircraft.

"A 23-year-old local man was found in possession of a laser pen and arrested. He has received a police caution and the pen will be destroyed."

Chester-le-Street PC Adam Norris added: "People seem to be under the mistaken impression that shining a laser pen at an aircraft is nothing more than a prank, but they need to realise it is a criminal offence which potentially could have catastrophic consequences for those on board the aircraft."

The incident is one of several reported in the region recently of people shining laser pens at the police helicopter.

CAPTION(S):

TARGETED Police helicopter
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2012
Words:200
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