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Fury as laser beam shone at police helicopter
A policing union boss has condemned as “absolutely deplorable” laser attacks on aircraft after a man was arrested on suspicion of shining a laser at the force helicopter while it was in the skies above Bradford.
Andrew Tempest-Mitchell, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said it “beggared belief” criminals were putting officers’ and the public’s lives at risk by targeting the X99 helicopter.
He spoke out after a man was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft following officers’ reports he shone a laser at the helicopter from a bedroom window at 1.20am yesterday.
The crew guided officers on the ground to a house in Haslingden Drive, off Toller Lane, Bradford, where they arrested a 25-year-old man.
He remained in custody yesterday and could face a large fine or prison if found guilty by the courts.
Mr Tempest-Mitchell said: “We represent the officers who are up in the helicopter and we absolutely deplore this kind of activity.
“People should know that using this equipment on aircraft can put our members and the public’s lives at risk.”
He added: “We support West Yorkshire Police and the courts in bringing people to justice for actions which beggar belief.”
On Wednesday, a 23-year-old Keighley man appeared before Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court, charged with directing or shining a laser at the police helicopter to dazzle or distract the pilot in March.