Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Five strange 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Every year, new laws are brought in by government, either to govern a new aspect of society or to update and replace outdated rules.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!  

Weird Law 1200x450: Man holding a salmon
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”.

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 be facing 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 be facing a £200 fine and 3 points on your license. If you passed your test in the last two years, you could even lose your license! Next time you go for a late-night double cheeseburger, remember your card.