RECKLESS yobs shone a laser at the Essex Police helicopter as it flew over Basildon .

The helicopter crew had been flying over Basildon in the early hours of Sunday morning, when the laser light was shone into the cockpit, temporarily stunning the crew.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “This is totally unacceptable behaviour and puts the helicopter crew in danger.

“The outcome of a crash does not bear thinking about.

“We will arrest and charge those responsible. It is a serious offence and those caught could face a prison sentence.”

It came just hours after a similar incident in Point Clear, in Clacton. Following that incident a 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft in flight.

He was charged and will appear at Colchester Youth Court on August 28.