A LASER has been shone at numerous occasions at civilian and military aircraft flying over West Berkshire.

Police have received a number of reports about a high powered green beam shining in the sky over the past few months.

The latest incident took place on January 9 where a laser was shining at a helicopter near Newbury Racecourse at around 5.50pm.

Police constable Darryl MacAndrew, of the West Berkshire problem solving team, said: "These are very serious incidents which carry a high level of risk that could ultimately prove fatal.

"Pilots can become dazzled by lasers which can be put the aircraft at risk."

Similar offences where a laser was shone took place on October 24 when two military Apaches flying together near Enborne were targeted.

In November, a pilot himself reported a green laser was shining approximately five miles west of Newbury.

A laser was shone twice on December 12, once at a military Apache helicopter travelling over Marsh Benham and the second, a laser strike took place against a plane in the Welford area.

More recently, on January 8 a report was received that a laser was shone at aircraft flying over Newbury.

Thames Valley Police officers are appealing for witnesses to all of the incidents and people in the community are being encouraged to ring police when they see a laser sighting in the sky to allow offices to respond while the incident is ongoing.

Pc MacAndrew added: "Offenders will be dealt with robustly - offences under the Aviation Act 1982 - endangering aircraft - could lead to a life sentence.

"Those who are prosecuted for offences under the Laser Misuse Act 2018 can also be subject to five years imprisonment.

"We are keeping an open mind as to whether any of the incidents are linked."

If you have any information about the incidents please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 or call 999 if a crime is in progress.

If you do not wish to speak to police please call the indepedent charity Crimestoppers on 080055111.