Photos showing two plain-clothes police officers warning people for jaywalking in Yuen Long, the New Territories, went viral on social media and instant messaging groups on Thursday.

Two photos were uploaded to a Facebook group named “Wo Yuen Long,” saying that two officers in casual wear stopped a man and a woman as they were caught jaywalking, adding that the officers had taken the offenders’ personal information.

The netizen responsible for the Facebook post urged people to comply with regulations when crossing roads.

However, other participants in ensuing discussions worried about the possibility of con artists gathering personal information for illegal purposes.

Meanwhile, messages on Whatsapp groups said the police would deploy plain-clothes cops to issue fixed penalty tickets to jaywalkers, Apple Daily reported.

The New Territories North Traffic Headquarters confirmed that they had launched an anti-jaywalking campaign that aimed to improve pedestrians’ road safety awareness.

A police spokesperson emphasized that the campaign was purely educational, and that officers working on the streets on Thursday did not issue penalties to offenders.

Police figures showed that last year there were 18,299 cases involving pedestrians who violated traffic regulations, 82% of which were for failing to comply with pedestrian crossing signals. Some 1,978 cases involved pedestrians crossing roads within 15m of a pedestrian signal, news website HK01.com reported.

Under the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations, pedestrians who cross a road without regard to traffic signals are liable to a fine of HK$2,000 (US$254) while serious offenders will be issued a summons and have to appear in court.