Over the decades, the British Government has implemented a variety of laws that some people might consider being nonsensical regulations which are still being used today. 

Here are some of the most unusual laws that the UK government has implemented over the past few decades: 

Library gambling is illegal

Gambling in any library within the UK is classed as a public place, therefore it makes it illegal to do so as per the Library Offences Act 1898.

Gambling is an activity that can generate a lot of noise, so for a public place it is not suitable, especially in a library where people will try to concentrate on their work and studies, and predominantly like to be in an environment with minimal noise.

No armour can be worn In parliament quarters

It might surprise you to know that you’re not allowed to wear armour inside the Houses of Parliament. It’s actually a law that’s been in place since 1313.

The statute forbidding the bearing of armour act is still in effect today and makes it illegal to wear a full suit of armour in the Houses of Parliament.

Edward the 2nd had put this statute in place to prevent violence between two factions of parliament.

Cleaning carpets, rugs, or mats in the street

A lot of our furniture will get dirty over time, especially any rugs or carpets we have. If you live in the UK, make sure you don’t clean these items in the street or even from out your window onto the street as it’s against the law.

The 1860 Metropolitan Police Act, Section 60 states that it’s an offence to ‘beat or shake any carpets, rugs or mats excluding doormats before 8 am.’

No TV license? Face the consequences

If you don’t have a TV license in the UK, then you’re not allowed to watch live television. You could be fined up to £1000 if caught watching live tv without a license, although the chances of this happening are pretty slim.

This is reiterated by the Communications Act 2003. Section 363 states it is a criminal offence to watch TV without a license and if caught, you will be fined heavily.

Knocking on doors and running away

This one is for all the mischievous kids out there. If you’ve ever knocked on someone’s door and then ran away before they could answer, you’ve technically committed a crime.

The Metropolitan Police Act 1839, section 54, part 16, has made it an offence to intentionally disturb residents by pulling or ringing doorbells or knocking at a door without a lawful excuse.

The law was introduced because of the number of people who still play the game and how it can become an increasingly annoying nuisance for residents.

No skating or sliding on icy streets

If you’re ever feeling playful, don’t go sliding down any icy streets during the cold winter months, as you would break the law.

Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 enforces this ruling. This law was most likely introduced because of the danger that comes with sliding on icy streets. It’s a hazard not only to yourself but also to those around you.

So, to prevent the urge for everyone to slide on the ice, why not look at purchasing equipment such as metal snow shovels to help clear the snow and ice? This is a great long-lasting piece of equipment that will help towards the safety of everyone.


While some of these laws as mentioned by technology lawyers EM Law may seem outdated, they’re still technically enforceable. If you’re ever in the UK, make sure you stay on the right side of the law!