Top British Laws That are Regularly Disobeyed

Top British Laws That are Regularly Disobeyed

Did you know that there are several British LAWS that are regularly disobeyed? For instance, some of the UK’s strangest laws include not being able to fly kites in a public or become intoxicated in a pub.

Although some of these laws may seem minor, they can cause some major penalties. As some of these laws are not publicly spoken about, it might not be a surprise to hear that some of these are regularly broken.

However, it is important to be aware of these laws in case you accidentally disobey one:

Carrying a plank of wood along a pavement

It is actually against the law to carry a plank of wood along a pavement. The law stopped people from leaving trip hazards in public places, but it's often broken without incident. While you're unlikely to be arrested for carrying a piece of wood, it's still technically against the law and can only be done so if people are loading the plank of wood onto a vehicle or unloading it from one.

Flying a kite in public

It may surprise some, but it is illegal to fly a kite in many parts of the United Kingdom. This unusual law is because kites can pose a nuisance to local residents, and this law was brought into place via section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839.

Becoming intoxicated in a pub

People cannot be found intoxicated in a pub in the United Kingdom. According to the Licensing Act of 1872, section 12, "it shall not be permitted for any person to be drunk...on licensed premises."

The act has now been amended as per the Licensing (Amendment) Act 1988 to extend this ban to all public locations, such as nightclubs, pubs, and possibly private homes too if alcohol is being sold at those places.

Walking cows down the street in daylight

Walking cows along the street in daylight is banned in the United Kingdom. Cows, after all, are animals with hooves that may harm pavements. According to the Metropolitan Street Act of 1867, cows are not allowed through the street between the hours of 10 am and 7 pm unless the Police Commissioner gave particular authority.

This law is especially important to protect the welfare of residents because cows can cause death sometimes when they feel harmed. According to an article, over the last 5 years, cows had caused the death of 18 people. Some of these deaths have occurred because of the rise in countryside walking because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shaking your rug on the street

It is actually against the law in Britain to shake your rug on the street. This law was put into place in 1839 via section 60 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. People cannot shake any mats, rugs, or carpets, with only the exception of doormats prior to 8 am.

With this legislation, it would help prevent people from causing a nuisance by shaking dirt and dust into the streets and onto other people walking by.

Knocking on doorbells and running away

Did you know it is illegal to knock on someone's door and run away? This is known as the "knock-knock ginger" prank. This is against the law as per section 54, part 16 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839.

Hanging your clothes across the streets is illegal

Hanging your clothes across the streets is illegal in many U.K. towns and cities. It may seem harmless to air out your laundry, but it can be a nuisance for pedestrians and other passersby. Hanging laundry in public spaces is often regulated by local bylaws.

People could have to pay fines of up to £1,000 if caught, and this law was brought into effect as per the legislation of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.


There are plenty of British laws that are regularly broken without consequence. Some might say the laws are fair, but some should be changed, perhaps. Nevertheless, it is vital to be mindful of such laws.

UK laws unusual info

These laws were brought to your attention by technology lawyers EM Law

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