A LASER was shone at an RAF aircraft in an act police have condemned as 'dangerous' and 'criminal'.

The narrow beam of light was pointed at an RAF Puma helicopter on Thursday last week, as it flew above Wantage.

Describing the incident as a 'laser strike', Thames Valley Police is now appealing for witnesses.

The aircraft was hit by the laser at about 11.35pm and it is believed the laser was shone from the area of Wasbrough Avenue in the town. 

Police said 'avoidance action' had to be taken as the safety of the helicopter and crew was in danger, but they continued with their flight.

Investigating officer Sergeant Mark Smith, based at Didcot police station, said: "This is a dangerous act which could have seriously endangered the aircraft.

"It is a criminal offence to shine a laser at an aircraft and we are carrying out a thorough investigation.

"We would ask anyone who has seen someone shining a laser in the Wasbrough Avenue area or is aware of someone who has such a device in their possession to please come forward."

Anyone with information can Thames Valley Police by calling 101, report information online, or calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

The force did not provide a reference number with the appeal.