Man arrested after a laser pen was shone at a police helicopter in the West Midlands

The police helicopter was assisting West Midlands officers on the ground with a vehicle stop

A man was arrested after being caught in the act of shining a laser pen at a police helicopter during a vehicle investigation in the West Midlands - endangering the lives of the crew on board.

The chopper was assisting officers on the ground with a vehicle stop in Walsall when the bright beam was shone into the cockpit on Tuesday (January 17).

Video footage from the helicopter shows the laser being pointed at the aircraft, dazzling the pilot, before he is quickly detained by police on the residential street.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson told BirminghamWorld: “Officers arrested a man in his 30s after a laser was deliberately shone at a police helicopter which was flying over the Walsall area. A laser device was seized. The man was released and will be interviewed at a later date.”

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) said the culprit was now facing up to five years in jail for endangering an aircraft. The NPAS shared the footage on social media and said: “We assisted West Midlands Police with a vehicle stop in Walsall.

“Whilst doing so we were targeted with a laser pointer, fortunately force response were nearby and the offender was detained in the act. Offenders can be pin pointed in seconds and can be jailed for five years.”

Head of NPAS Flight Operations Captain Paul Watts said previously after a man was jailed for a similar incident: “Laser attacks are a serious concern.

Man arrested after being caught in the act shining a laser pen at a police helicopter in the West Midlands

“The impact on a pilot is, at the very least, distracting, but can be serious enough to cause temporary ‘flash’ blindness and, in some cases, lasting eye damage. This could be hazardous.

“Those who carry out this dangerous action should expect to be arrested. We will always pursue prosecution with the full support of our police colleagues.”

Police helicopter (Photo - SWNS)