Dangerous laser pens seized at port

TRADING standards officers have intercepted a large consignment of powerful laser pens, which could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.

Richard Cornwell

TRADING standards officers have intercepted a large consignment of powerful laser pens, which could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.

Seventeen cartons, each containing 72 laser pens, were stopped after they were imported through the Port of Felixstowe.

The London-based importer has voluntarily agreed for the pens to be destroyed.


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Last year an Ipswich man received a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, for shining a laser pen at a police helicopter in Suffolk - the court was told the pilot was dazzled and the chopper could have crashed.

Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, said the pens seized by the authority's officers were not the type of laser pens available on general sale.

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“These items are a lot more powerful than is accepted for general use in this country and could have caused harm to others if used inappropriately,” she said.

“We've seen a number of cases across the country in recent months where people have been prosecuted for using laser pens inappropriately, many of whom have ended up with significant prison sentences.

“I am delighted that our trading standards team have taken these pens off the streets and prevented them getting into wider circulation.”

Laser pens are divided into various classes and under UK law only laser pens in Class 1 and Class 2 are considered to be a safe product for use by the general consumer.

The laser pens confiscated were incorrectly marked and upon testing were found to be Class 3B.

The power of these laser pointers is so powerful that pedestrians, drivers and aircraft pilots are at risk of distraction, dazzle, glare or even eye injuries.

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