Two men were arrested in Epsom recently after a police helicopter was subjected to an attack by a powerful laser that put the lives of its crew at risk.

The unusual and dangerous incident occurred somewhere in the Epsom area during a search for a missing person that involved a regional police helicopter on Sunday (August 2).

The aircraft was flown by the The National Police Air Service London and SE Region (NPAS), who said they had been subjected to a "laser attack" while helping with the search.

A spokesperson for the police helicopter unit posted the following statement to Twitter, descrbing the attack as "incredibly dangerous":

"Redhill crew were subject of a #laser attack tonight. A swift response by @SurreyPolice and a @sspoldogsection 4 legged friend resulted in 2 arrests.

"Shocked to discover it wasn’t the usual laser pen, but was a huge laser TORCH, extremely powerful and incredibly dangerous!" The statement read.

The Epsom and Ewell branch of Surrey Police who were also involved in the incident offered further lines on what happened:

"On Sunday evening our @NPASSouthEast colleagues were in the Epsom area assisting with the search of a missing person.

"Whilst in the air a laser pen was shone into the aircraft a number of times. This caused concern to the pilot and crew and put the entire team at risk.

"NPAS guided ground units to the area where they suspected the lasers has been shone from.

"Within minutes a 20 year old man and a 32 year old man, both from Epsom, had been arrested under the Laser Misuse Act 2018 and have been released under investigation," a spokesperson for the borough police force said.

Laser pens are commonly available but shining them at aircraft is a criminal offence according to the 2018 law referenced by Epsom and Ewell police.

Lasers in general have seen increasing use in numerous contexts around the world, including cutting edge science and also protest movements.