Police crackdown on laser pointers after ‘dozens’ were directed at helicopters and planes in recent weeks
- In recent weeks ‘dozens’ of laser pointers pointed in direction of PolAir officers
- Frustrated police are keen for the behaviour to stop, can be life-threatening
- Man from Sydney’s west charged with intent to prejudice the safety of an aircraft
Police are cracking down on laser pointers after ‘dozens’ have been directed at helicopters and planes in recent weeks.
Frustrated officers in Sydney have called for the dangerous behaviour to end immediately, with the safety of pilots and crew potentially jeopardised.
Police Force Aviation Command and PolAir confirmed laser pointers have been aimed at aircraft.
Police aircraft monitoring the Pendle Hill area in Sydney’s west last month observed a laser being pointed directly at a helicopter.
Police are cracking down on laser pointers (pictured) after ‘dozens’ have been directed at helicopters and planes in recent weeks in Sydney
A man from Sydney’s west was charged with doing an act (pictured) with the intent to prejudice the safety of an aircraft last month after pointing a laser directly at a helicopter
Officers on the ground were alerted, with a man, 45, from nearby Toongabbie later arrested at his home on April 21.
He was taken to Parramatta Police Station and charged with doing an act with the intent to prejudice the safety of an aircraft.
The man was granted conditional bail and will appear at Parramatta Local Court.
Police will allege a tactical flight officer and a senior constable, 41, suffered temporary blurred vision and discomfort following the incident, which could have been fatal.
‘At no distance and in no circumstance is it safe to point a laser at aircraft,’ Aviation Commander Detective Superintendent Brad Monk told 7 News.
‘The laser beams can impair the eyesight of those on board and endanger the lives of the crew and the public.’
Detective Superintendent Monk also had a message for those participating in the dangerous anti-social behaviour – you will be caught and prosecuted.
‘Remember, we have a bird’s-eye view from the air and can easily identify where a laser beam is coming from,’ he added.
Rules for laser pointers in Australia
*Laser pointers are hand held, battery operated devices designed or adapted to emit a laser beam that may be used for the purposes of aiming, targeting or pointing
*It is illegal to direct laser beams into motor vehicles or cockpits of aircraft
*To limit anti-social behaviour, the government has made it an offence for anyone to have a laser pointer in a public place without a reasonable excuse
*Teachers and builders are permitted to use lasers in their line of employment
Source: NSW Police