An MP has called for a piece of equipment used in offices across the country to be reclassified as an offensive weapon.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said hundreds of lives were put at risk by thugs shining laser pens in the eyes of pilots operating from Gatwick.

At Home Office questions in the House of Commons, Mr Smith said: “Can you join with me in congratulating Sussex Police in the work they have been doing to tackle laser pen attacks on aircraft operating from Gatwick Airport - attacks which can potentially endanger hundreds of lives in the air and on the ground?

“And can you say what additional work your department is doing nationwide on possibly reclassifying laser pens?”

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire replied: “Whilst we have no plans to classify lasers as offensive weapons, we are determined to see that best practice is shared between forces.”

Last year Sussex Police said it had five reports of laser pens being pointed at planes.

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