Some Bizarre Christmas Laws

As a sign off for the end of this term, here are three current (and one previous) law which might affect how you enjoy Christmas in England and Wales:

  1. You cannot shoot birds on Christmas Day
    The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prohibits the shooting of birds, subject to certain exceptions. Under s.2(3) those exceptions don’t apply on Christmas day. Thus, shooting birds on Christmas day is prohibited.
  2. If you breach an injunction on Christmas Day, you will be held in custody for longer than otherwise
    This is under s.9(4) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. s.9 holds that no-one arrested for breaching an injunction can be held for more than 24 hours without being brought before specified people, but under s.9(4) the period of 24 hours is to be calculated disregarding Christmas day.
  3. It’s illegal to be drunk in a pub
    If you are planning to go to the pub on Christmas day, be aware that s.12 Licensing Act 1872 made it an offence to be drunk on licensed premises.
  4. Make sure your Christmas tree isn’t dangerous
    If you cannot get your Christmas tree home safely, be thankful for the Deregulation Act 2015. The Town Police Clauses Act 1847 prohibited under s.28 “any tree or timber or iron beam to be drawn in or upon any carriage, without having sufficient means of safely guiding the same”. The fine could be up to £1,000. Thankfully, schedule 23 part 9 of the Deregulation Act 2015 repealed these provisions.

Happy holidays!