20210404 arrest, handcuff, police
Photo for illustrative purpose. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi environment police have arrested eight people for having torched bonfires in non-designated sites in a public park, a security official has said.

The offenders — seven Saudis and one Egyptian resident — were arrested for setting off the illegal bonfires in Al Soudah Park in Abha in south-west Saudi Arabia.

“The legal procedures have been applied to them,” spokesman for the Saudi Special Forces for Environmental Security Col Abdul Rahman Al Outeibi said

He added that setting off fires in non-designated places is punishable by a fine of up to SR3,000.

In 2019, Saudi authorities announced a ban on bonfires in gardens and other public places for safety reasons and vowed to fine offenders.

The practice of setting off fires for cooking in public areas is not uncommon in Saudi Arabia as part of outings.

The fines against the act in non-designated public sites are part of regulations for public conduct that went into effect in the kingdom in September 2019..

Officially dubbed the Public Decorum Code, the regulations ban wearing “inappropriate” attire and acting immorally in public and playing loud music in residential areas.

Offenders face fines ranging from 50 to 3,000 riyals, depending on the type of the infringement.