Weird UK Laws

Every year, new laws are brought in by government, either to govern a new aspect of society or to update and replace outdated rules. However, some older laws are never removed as they are of little relevance to modern day life. This article covers five strange UK laws that you might not have heard of – but have almost definitely broken!  

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Wearing fancy dress?

Next time you’re invited to a fancy dress party, remember the ‘Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906’. This act prevents you from dressing up as a member of the naval, military and marine forces. In 1906 identification papers were more at risk to fraud compared to the 21st century.

Handling salmon in suspicious circumstances

Section 32 of the Salmon Act 1986 specifically outlaws “handling salmon in suspicious circumstances”. So please stop doing it…

Child’s play

It’s all fun and games until you read the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act. It states that it is a crime to “wilfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant by pulling or ringing any door-bell or knocking at any door without lawful excuse”. Not only is ‘Knock-a-door-run’ a criminal offence, but so apparently is sledding! The very same act also banned the use of “any slide upon ice or snow in any street or other thoroughfare”.

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Just the one for me, thanks!

Did you know that being drunk inside a pub is illegal? Section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872 outlaws “every person found drunk in any highway or other public place, whether a building or not, or on any licensed premises”. If you can’t hold your liquor, you could face a whopping £200 fine.

Using your phone to pay at a drive-thru

Unless your engine is off and your handbrake is on, you could face a £200 fine and three points on your licence. You could even lose your licence if you passed your test in the last two years! Next time you go for a late-night double cheeseburger, remember your card.

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If this works yeah, telling you now, I am a pro.

Did you know there's a load of weird and unusual laws that are still illegal today? From flying a kite in public to suspiciously handling a salmon. We're going to go check a few of them out.

Did you know it's illegal to fly a kite in a public place? As per section 54 of the Metropolitan Police at 1839?

This is not going to go to plan at all. Say no more mate! Do you have to run with it? Yo that works! No, it doesn't. To be fair, as someone that has never flown a kite, I'm doing a pretty good job.

As per the licensing act 1872, Section 12, it's illegal to be drunk in a pub. Something we've all done, and I've certainly been there and done that. Can I say that?

As per the Metropolitan Streets Act 1867, Section seven. It's illegal to walk your cow down the street. So if you do, keep them inside.

One of the weird but wonderful things we have as part of our Houses of Parliament. It's actually illegal to wear a suit of armour in there. Don't get caught with your armour in Parliament.

Section 32 of the Salmon Act 1986 Suspicious handling of a salmon is illegal. So if you're either preparing one up in the kitchen or whatever you're doing with the salmon, don't be caught doing that weirdly in public.