Police helicopter crews have said they were “persistently” targeted with a laser pen while searching for a missing person in East Yorkshire on Saturday night.
Coastguard teams and Humberside Police officers were deployed to the Sewerby Cliffs area, close to Bridlington, at about 11.30pm after reports of a “high-risk” missing person in the area.
But, with a police helicopter overhead searching the clifftops and the town, crews were “persistently lasered” by somebody on the ground.
Tweeting about what happened, NPAS Carr Gate, the police helicopter team, said: “05/01 – 2327 hours, further assistance offered to @Humberbeat searching Danes Dyke woods and Sewerby Cliffs after a concern for safety call, both areas searched and cleared by us.
“Whilst assisting @Humberbeat with a suspect and missing person search in and around Bridlington we were persistently lasered from a suspect on the ground. Enquiries are on-going with local officers to identify the suspect.”
Posting on Facebook about the incident, Bridlington Coastguard Rescue Team said: “Team tasked by Humber Coastguard to report of a High risk missing person, last known to be in the Sewerby Cliffs area.
“Search teams were deployed to search along the cliff tops and beach towards Danes dyke. Upon completion of all searches information from police suggested the casualty was no longer in the immediate area and the teams stood down and returned to station.
“Also in attendance was Humberside Police .”
Hull crime news
Shooting lasers at vehicles or aircraft is a criminal offence.
The police guidance website says: “Whilst owning a laser pen is not illegal, if a person had one in the street and was using it (or intending to use it) to shine in people eyes, at cars or aircraft etc. then they would be committing an offence and, in the case of cars and aircraft, a particularly serious offence.
“They may also be personally liable to a Community Protection Notice for anti social behaviour, namely unreasonable behaviour of a persistent or continuing nature which has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.”
In 2016, a care worker, was jailed for five months in Hull after shining a laser pen at a police helicopter.
He told the court he targeted the crew because he was bored while waiting for a takeaway.
District Judge Frederick Rutherford told him: ‘It is only a matter of time before a tragedy is caused by this type of behaviour.
‘You deliberately targeted the helicopter with your laser… and by so doing you endangered the pilot.”
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