The Law, Seriously


Derek Inkpin from local solicitors Axiom DWFM takes the law seriously, but even he knows sometimes the law can be an ass… especially if you get a bit tipsy in a pub

We are surrounded by laws and regulations every day of our lives, the dos and don’ts which regulate society and all of us in it. However, against the serious background of most rules, the following bizarre laws still exist.

  • The Licencing Act 1872 makes it clear you can’t be drunk in a pub, and since 2003, bar staff cannot legally serve drunk people. Time to practice your sober face. 
  • The Madhouses Act 1774 restricts property owners to one “lunatic” per residence.
  • If you fire a cannon within 300 yards of residential properties, you will commit an offence under the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. (So, measure out 301 yards to avoid an issue).
  • If you want to avoid a library fine, confirmation that you have cholera should do the trick under section 25 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1985.
  • If your alarm goes off at 3am, failing to stop it breaks the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
  • You can be annoying in public, unless you go to the library, in which case, irritating someone there would be contrary to the Library Offences Acts of 1888 and 2005.
  • Unless you don’t mind a £500 fine, don’t carry a plank or ladder on a pathway. That would be against section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839.
  • Knock down ginger (you remember, knocking and scarpering for fun) is illegal and could land you with a £500 fine.
  • Whatever you do, don’t beat your dusty rug in the street. Pollution is OK, but giving your neighbour a tickly throat is definitely out.
  • Singing obscene lyrics in the street is an offence; just hum the dodgy parts to avoid a fine. Yes, it’s that Metropolitan Police Act 1839 again.
  • Everyone knows you cannot open someone else’s mail, but delaying the post contradicts the Postal Services Act 2000, so no chatting to the postie, please.
  • Looking guilty holding a salmon suggests you are a poacher and therefore liable for an offence under the Salmon Act 1986.
  • A bye-law passed by Daventry District Council in 2015 prescribes that failing to produce an empty poo bag when challenged could result in a £100 fine.

So, now you’ve been told.

Axiom DWFM is located at 9–13 Cambridge Park, Wanstead, E11 2PU. For more information, call 020 8215 1000

Author: Editor