PEOPLE are being warned of the dangers of shining laser pens at aircrafts after a plane was targeted near Darlington at the weekend.

The commercial plane was around five miles north of the town when a laser was shone at it at 12.30am on Saturday.

PC Emma Bartley, from Durham Constabulary, said: “Such irresponsible behaviour can have catastrophic consequences for the airline crew and passengers.

“Shining laser pens directly at the cockpit poses a significant danger to the pilot as it could cause temporary blindness, or even permanent eye damage.

“This is extremely dangerous as even a momentary loss of control can have disastrous consequences.

“Lasers are not toys – we want to stress to both adults and children that they can be incredibly dangerous, especially when used inappropriately.”