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Man charged with shining laser pen at police helicopter

A man has been charged with shining a laser pen at a police helicopter. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A man from Northamptonshire has been charged with the new offence of endangering a police helicopter by shining a laser pen at it.

It's alleged that Voyslav Dimitrov, from Minerva Way in Wellingborough, shone a green laser into the cockpit as the helicopter was taking part in a search on Saturday (September 15).

The 28-year-old has been bailed to appear before Northampton Magistrates’ Court on October 15.

The Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Act was introduced in May this year.

It means it is now an offence to shine or direct a laser beam towards a vehicle, regardless of intent, removing the need for police officers to establish proof of intention to cause a safety hazard.

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Norfolk set to close dozens of children's centres

Norfolk County Council is proposing the closure of 46 of its 53 children's centres. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Most of the children's centres in Norfolk look set to be closed under plans being put forward by the county council.

If approved, only seven of the 53 centres would remain when the new contracts starts in September 2019.

More than 20,000 parents and children under five currently use the centres.

The council says it wants to spend its resources on frontline services rather than buildings. Earlier this year councillors agreed to reduce the annual budget for children's centres from £10 million to £5 million.

“We want to get the right help to children and families as early as possible and create services that are fit for today’s families.

“About a quarter of those families who live in areas of greatest need are not accessing children’s centre services at the moment and we want to develop a service that gives them the support and help they need for their children.

– Penny Carpenter, Chairman of the Children’s Services Committee at Norfolk County Council
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