A HAUL of more than 100 lasers pens were seized at a Hampshire home in a police crackdown on people targeting planes with the dangerous devices.

A man was arrested after a total of 107 lasers pens, including one that was 650 times more powerful than normal, were discovered by officers at a house in Eastleigh close to the Southampton Airport flight path.

It comes after an increase in the misuse of laser pens in the Southampton area, with seven incidents reported in the past ten weeks, which have led to five arrests.

Now police are warning people of the potentially catastrophic dangers of such devices if they are targeted at planes and helicopters and urge parents not to buy them as toys for their children.

The most recent incident saw four commercial passenger planes and a police helicopter targeted by a powerful green laser being used close to the Itchen Bridge.

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Flights into and out of Southampton Airport have been targeted by people with laser pens

The National Police Air Service helicopter had been on its way to land at Southampton Airport for fuel when the laser was shined at it just after 8.30pm on September 9.

After refuelling, it used its onboard camera and mapping systems to work out where the laser had been used and officers on the ground arrested a 26-year-old man from Totton at the scene, on suspicion of offences under the Air Navigation Order.

He was bailed until October 23, pending further inquiries. The flights all landed safely.

Superintendent James Fulton, who is in charge of policing in Southampton, said: “This activity is highly dangerous and irresponsible during any phase of flight however, during critical times such as landings at night, it is especially dangerous.

“Incidents involving lasers being pointed at vehicles, such as planes or cars and people, are increasing nationally.

“A large number of these incidents involve children, whose parents believe the lasers are a suitable toy.

“We are keen to stress to both adults and children that these items are dangerous and can lead to a significant fire risk.

“Lasers are not toys and could also lead to serious visual impairment for life if used in an inappropriate way.”