The wife of a Wiltshire Air Ambulance paramedic says she’s “had enough” of the charity’s crews being attacked by laser pens.

Paramedic Claire Tucker has set up an online petition calling for a ban on the sale of handheld laser pens in shops or online.

The petition on the Parliament website needs to get 100,000 signatures if it is to be considered for debate in the House of Commons or Lords.

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Claire Tucker Picture: TREVOR PORTER

'I've had enough'

Mrs Tucker told the BBC this morning: “My husband is a critical care paramedic on Wiltshire Air Ambulance and they've had repeated laser attacks by hand-held laser pens, which could have potentially blinded him.

“The laser can actually distract the pilot and it can bring the helicopter down.

“I've had enough of them being attacked by them.”

She has previously described those who shine laser pens at aircraft as "senseless morons".

Charles Barclay, director of the Blackett Observatory at Marlborough College, said there should be some restrictions on who could buy the lasers. He did not back an outright ban, citing uses for the hand-held lasers including in astronomy. 

"It is extraordinary that they are not regulated," he told the BBC. 

Air attacks

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been hit by four laser attacks in 2020.

The latest, on September 6, saw a laser shone at the charity’s yellow-and-green helicopter as pilots attempted to land it near Trowbridge.

At the time, chief pilot Matt Wilcock said: “Our team were operating in the Trowbridge area at 21:55 hours. It was a training mission; we have to land so often at night just to rehearse our skills and one of the few landing sites that we can do that at is in Hilperton.

“As they were operating in the area someone decided to shine a laser at them. We believe it came from the south west area of Trowbridge.

“It is only by the grace of God that we haven’t had a patient on board or that we haven't been flying to a lifesaving incident when these laser attacks have occurred.”

He added: "Nobody should be shining laser pens at aircraft. You don't know who that aircraft is coming to help and just think about if it was en route to help you or one of your loved ones and a laser attack forced us to abort the mission."