Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited, which operated a chain of vegetable stalls, was prosecuted for three of their branches causing noise annoyance to nearby residents with loudspeakers persistently playing promotional recordings. The company was convicted and fined a total of $27,000 at the Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (July 16) for contravening the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO). The company's director also held criminal liability and was fined $12,000 for contravening the NCO repeatedly.
A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that during the inspections in December last year the department discovered three branches of Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited on Kwong Fuk Road and Heung Sze Wui Street in Tai Po as well as Hop Choi Street in Yuen Long were playing promotional recordings loudly and repeatedly with loudspeakers, causing noise annoyance. The EPD prosecuted the company and its director under the NCO. Since last year, the department has taken a series of law enforcement actions against noise annoyance caused by broadcasting from shops in various districts. Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited and the director were convicted for their branches violating NCO with fines more than $110,000 in total.
After a series of law enforcement actions taken by the EPD, the number of noise complaints against the shops in Tai Po and Yuen Long has largely reduced. The EPD will closely monitor the situation and conduct stringent enforcement against such irregularities. The spokesman reminded the responsible persons of retail shops and market stalls that when they play promotional recordings to sell goods, they should contain the noise level within their shop area and should not cause annoyance to people outside their shops or nearby residents. Otherwise, it constitutes an offence. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 for each offence. For repeat offenders, the relevant operators will also be criminally liable for the offences once convicted.
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