The item rather chirpily comments that UK -
courts have never been busier. On Thursday 9 December Liam Coe, 21, from Hollingworth in Greater Manchester, was jailed for four months for shining a beam at a police helicopter during observations.Concerns about laser pointers in Australia have been reflected in proposals such as the Police Offences Amendment (Laser Pointers) Bill 2009 (Tas), Criminal Code (Rock Throwing and Laser Pointing) Amendment 2009 (WA) and Criminal Code Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2009 (WA).
While on Friday 10 December, Jomir Ali, 20, from Oxford, was given 200 hours community service for directing a laser at a police helicopter over the city, temporarily blinding the crew.
And last month 25-year-old Richard Wakeman, of Fareham in Hampshire, was given a suspended jail sentence for targeting a police aircraft.
Those caught are charged under article 73 of the Air Navigation Order for recklessly endangering an aircraft - a penalty carrying a maximum five-year jail term. It is the same charge used in air rage cases
Clause 4 of the WA Crim Code Amendment Bill for example provides that it would be a crime to cause a person fear or alarm by "shining a laser or other narrow beam of light at the person without lawful excuse", attracting a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment. The amendment indicates that the offence typically occurs when a laser pointer is directed at an aircraft.
Misuse of lasers against aircraft would presumably be caught under statutes such as the Aircraft Offences Act 1971 (SA) s 10, Law Enforcement (Powers & Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW). Some jurisdictions have moved to characterising hand-held lasers as prohibited weapons, analogous to bans on knives.
Section 11FA of the Summary Offences Act 1998 (NSW) - discussed here - provides for an offence of possession of any kind of laser pointer in a public place without a reasonable excuse, with a penalty of up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $5,500.
Importation of laser pointers is controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (Cth).