A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of setting off fireworks in a Hong Kong country park amid stepped-up patrols after a video showing a newlywed couple using the pyrotechnics in a photo shoot went viral last month.
Police arrested the 25-year-old man and 28-year-old woman on Friday on suspicion of illegal possession and discharge of fireworks or firecrackers in Tai Mo Shan Country Park after a report by officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. They were granted bail pending further inquiries.
If there was sufficient evidence, the individuals could be prosecuted under the Country Parks and Special Areas Regulations, authorities said.
Environmental group Green Earth posted a 42-second video last month showing a pair of newlyweds posing for pictures in the same park with one member of the photography team holding a lighted firework behind them, apparently to create a dramatic atmosphere for the shoot.
In the footage, the hiker who shot the video can be heard shouting “so dangerous” to the photo crew and warning he would report them. The wedding group did not respond in the clip.
The green group accused the couple of being “ignorant and selfish”.
The conservation department and police said they had taken notice of the video and strengthened patrols in country parks. The department also put up notices in the area informing the public about relevant laws afterward.
Police on Monday reminded the public that setting off fireworks or firecrackers not only violated the law but also posed a risk to personal safety and property.
According to the Country Parks and Special Areas Regulations, anyone caught using or lighting fires outside designated barbecue or camping sites faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a HK$5,000 (US$640) fine.
Under the Summary Offences Ordinance, anyone who deliberately or negligently sets alight fireworks, causing damage or danger to others, can be fined up to HK$2,000 and jailed for three months.