London Assembly member writing to Commissioner calling for tougher rules

Powerful laser pens that pose a danger to Heathrow pilots on take-off and landing should be banned from being sold to under-21s, says London Assembly member Tony Arbour.

Mr Arbour will be writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner asking for tougher rules governing the sale of the powerful devices, such as the one that forced a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for New York to turn around yesterday.

Tony Arbour, London Assembly member for Hounslow, Richmond-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon-Thames, said:

“A quick search online shows these lasers are widely available for less than £10 to anyone who wants to buy one. It is staggering. I want to see tougher restrictions in place particularly over the most powerful devices, which can be dangerous in the extreme when used irresponsibly. These gadgets have already been classed as dangerous by the government and there can be no practical purpose for anyone under the age of 21 to own a blinding laser that has a reach of several miles. The Civil Aviation Authority has reported more laser incidents at Heathrow than any other airport. Something needs to be done before we have a major disaster on our hands.”

Tony Arbour will be writing the Met Police Commissioner asking him to consider restricting the sale of powerful laser pens to under 21s.