A special police unit has been created in Russia's North Caucasus region to clamp down on "uncontrolled joy" when unruly couples celebrate their weddings. The 40-strong force will patrol the republic of Adygea to make sure wedding-goers drive safely and that nobody fires their weapons from car windows, according to the Tass news agency.
The new unit was announced by the region's Interior Minister Alexander Rechitsky. He said: "The wedding police will put a stop to the complex situation with the manifestation of uncontrolled at joy wedding party convoys. This is a precedent for Russia."
According to the BBC the people of Adygea have a reputation for partying hard, and weddings there often involve celebratory gunfire and driving around in noisy convoys. The "wedding police" will be the first such unit in Russia, and will keep an eye on popular routes that wedding motorcade participants use as their planned itineraries.
They will also post officers to sites frequented by newlyweds, such as parks or city squares, the report said. An air balloon will monitor the convoys from the skies and Rechitsky added that his officers would act "politely and correctly" while executing their duty.
Perhaps unsuprisingly, some newlyweds have welcomed the new measures. "Setting up this police unit was the right thing to do because people have been killed by wedding shootings," one bride tells regional TV channel Kuban 24.
According to the report, as well as reckless driving, wedding celebrations in Adygea occasionally present other hazards to bystanders. And in at least two separate incidents this year, wedding party members discharged firearms during wild celebrations.
Earlier this summer, a 27-year-old man was fined 50,000 rubles ($750) for shooting his handgun outside a local wedding registry office. A court also ordered the man's gun confiscated, Rechitsky was quoted as saying.
Adygea has an area of roughly 7,600km sq with a population of 439,996. According to the Izvestia newspaper has reported that crime rates in the republic of Adygea went up 23.4% last year.