Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.
Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.
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Owning a laser pen is not an offence, they are generally used by lecturers to highlight points when making a presentation. The vast majority of shop-bought laser pens will be relatively weak; meaning that exposure to the beam of such products would not result in an eye injury.
The website in 'Related Information' explains the different classes of lasers; classification based upon the power of the laser in question. There are no specific UK laws relating to laser pointers, however, the Health Protection Agency suggests that no laser pens more powerful than Class 2 be available for general sale, due to their potential to cause injury.
Whilst owning a laser pen is not illegal, if a person had one in the street and was using it (or intending to use it) to shine in people eyes, at cars or aircraft etc. then they would be committing an offence and, in the case of cars and aircraft, a particularly serious offence. They may also be personally liable to a Community Protection Notice for anti social behaviour, namely unreasonable behaviour of a persistent or continuing nature which has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.