News

York Floods- Our Story

Boxing Day 2015, well in the swing of festivities and looking forward to our January break following our biggest Christmas ever work wise. Our lovely neighbours (MOR Music) called us  and alerted us to water coming up from the drains in the yard outside our office.
I attended to find that the water was quickly rising and I was met by 5 colleagues who had already waded through the water into the office and started to salvage items.  

Wooden pallets had been placed in the yard to assist with entry/exit to the premises surrounding which includes residential flats, businesses and holiday lets.

At the back of my mind I knew that many other businesses and houses were about to be flooded. We have a business disaster recovery plan in place but I never expected to activate it due to the Foss flooding.

We prioritised data and files to enable continuity of the business. This was important because we are responsible for protecting our customer's people and property and we couldn't have any room for creating a vulnerability. The majority of customer and employee data was removed off site.

I made a judgement that the water wouldn't rise above ankle height (I was so wrong) so we lifted any other items onto desks and worktops in an effort to limit damage.  Our team then helped our neighbours to do the same - move their stock and equipment to higher levels. I was certain that we did everything we needed.

Later that night we returned to find that the river water had started to flood into our office. The yard outside was filling up fast. Our next attempt was to locate hessian sacks and fill them with sand in an attempt to create make-shift sandbags.

We were there until approximately 2am with this however our efforts were overpowered by the sheer amount of water, and the fact that it was coming up through the floor, not under the door!

 

fffff
[Flooding at peak]

99
[The first signs of water entering the office]

 

In my mind, I was sure that we had salvaged everything we needed to enable business continuity.  Luckily we use cloud based scheduling  and customer relationship management so we were still able to access essential information.

Inline with our business continuity plan, I made hard copies of all deployment activity in the event of an internet failure which proved to be vital when the BT exchange was flooded and all phone line/internet stopped working across York.

The BT exchange flooding had a massive knock-on affect and we soon learned that our resources would be stretched to the max. Our customer's alarm systems were sending signals to the alarm receiving centers regarding the phone line being down and generating a fault. This created high demand for us to respond to each call. We were inundated by non-customers requesting urgent emergency guarding of their premises to prevent risk of theft/damage and meet their insurers requirements. We were unable to get near some of our customer buildings due to the flooding on the roads/access points.

The next morning - 27th December I arrived at our office and couldn't even get into the yard. I used the rear entrance and waded through the flood water at waist height to gain access into our office to assess the damage. When I got into the office I was hit with frustration and felt physically sick at the fact that my business base was destroyed. We worked so hard to get things just how we needed them with a recent refurbishment only two months ago. I was settled by the fact that we were all safe and that its only property.  

The dirty silty water had reached the kitchen worktops, writing off everything up to that point.  I waded through the office and felt the carpets lifting up against my legs. I stopped and stood there for at least a minute in silence, not believing my eyes. I left the office and went home to my family.

 

 

11
[The flooded yard leading to our office]


[A floating bin and desk-top flooding  with items on top]

14
[The flooded sink/toilet area]

15
[Flooded kitchen to the work-tops still rising with items salvaged on top]

 

22
[My Wife and I wading in to salvage more items]

 

I told my wife about the office and unstoppable tears ran down my face. I was absolutely gutted. Not just because of the business, but because of what is happening to our city and how many people are affected. I couldn't begin to imagine what it would feel like if it was our home that was flooded.

I returned later with my lovely wife and Paul my ops manager. We waded in and salvaged any remaining items/paperwork due to damp setting in. The office was steaming and the ceiling tiles started to bow/warp with the damp rising from the water.

We left the offices to wait for the water to subside. For the next two nights we were deployed to our maximum to alarm calls, emergency guarding and mobile patrols.   The emergency services were out on cordons, pumping water and doing York Proud.

 

44
[Our team pumping out water at customer sites]

66
[Paul and I assessing the damage]

Our teams got hands on at our customer sites and assisted them through the night with pumping out water.

We had an operational nightmare on our hands as there are certain British Standards that we have to meet regarding certain processes. The office was set up to meet these security standards and I had to urgently find an alternative method.

I used social media to tell friends and family about what had happened at our Office. The response was amazing. I had messages of support, donations, offers to help with clear-ups and other business's offering temporary office space to us. I cannot thank these people enough.

We are in a fortunate position that the nature of our business means that we can continue to trade because we still deploy operatives onto customer sites.

By the 29th December the water had subsided and we re-entered the offices. What a mess. The once cream carpet now dark brown with a layer of silt, damp walls, wall paper curling off, warped ceiling tiles, everything stained up to waist height and rubbish splayed all over the place.

We left it a day or two and then cleared out the office completely of all our property.

I am very proud to have a team who I consider not only to be employees, but to be my friends who worked hard back to back shifts and really dedicated themselves to helping our business continue and also our customers business to continue.  
The office is now drying out and hopefully we will be back in soon.

I am completely overwhelmed by the kindness of the York community including the Latter Day Saints church in Acomb which was stocked to the roof full of cleaning supplies, shovels, wellies and other equipment that had been donated to help flood victims.

We had a vicar come directly to our office during the clear-out who offered his personal support to us.

We have had continuous support from Make It York / The City Of York council whereby making us aware of a grant that we are eligible for to help us get our office back up and running quickly.
I am very impressed with this support from the council who also provided skips for businesses to bin flood damaged items.

Thanks to York Hub for their support in providing us with a temporary hot-desk, MOR Music for name-dropping us on the one show, kind emails and support from our customers, messages from friends and family and our amazing team.

There are also the unsung heros to thank such as the creator of "York Floods 2015..." Facebook group which has generated an unprecedented amount of support from locals and non-locals.

I have learned not to underestimate the power of water and never underestimate the power of the York community.

Good luck to all those affected by the flooding - best wishes for a quick recovery  and Happy New Year!

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Carl Nickson - Director

It’s an Eboracum Christmas in York

Eboracum Security have been awarded with York's St Nicholas Festival security contract.

The city boasts a variety of events, entertainment and things to do this Christmas and it all starts as early as 19th November.

The festival sees 300+ coaches across the weekends up to 19th December descending on York to join in with the festivities and see our beautiful city. Among other things, there will be a wooden chalet market on Parliament Street along with food and a licensed bar.
The chalet's will extend into the Copperagate centre too.  You'll also find an ice sculpture trail across the city over the 12/13th December, a new Santa's grotto, christmas choirs and many more. For a full list, see YorkMix's piece here: York Mix

 

What will Eboracum be doing?

  • Securing the infrastructure of the event across the city 24/7 with manned uniformed presence coupled with response assistance.
  • Ensuring licensing obligations are maintained by providing Door Supervisors to the bar during operating times.
  • Coach management operation including stewarding, safely parking coaches and welcoming visitors to the city.
  • Providing event medical cover on the 5 weekends running up to Christmas

Eboracum – Ranked within top 25% of ACS companies in the UK

Eboracum Security ranked with top 25% of ACS companies nationwide.

The objective of the SIA’s Approved Contractor scheme is to raise performance standards and to assist the private security industry in developing new opportunities. The scheme is voluntary and was developed in consultation with representatives from across the industry; it only covers those parts of the industry that are regulated by the SIA and the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Eboracum is assessed each year by SSAIB and they spend 2-3 days in the business to check our processes, legality and quality against set criteria.

Yesterday (5th August 2015), we (Eboracum) had our third year assessment and achieved a score of +79 points. To achieve a pass, a company has to achieve 0 “zero” points. Every point earned after that is based on meeting extra criteria within each of the 89 indicators as prescribed by the SIA.

Our score on year one was 37 points, year two 45 and with +79 points this year puts us within the top 25% of ACS companies nationwide.

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The assessor interviewed three of our customers – one from the Door Supervision sector, one from Security Guarding and one from the Key Holding Sector. Comments from these interviews included “They give more than they promise”, “Professional to the core” and “Always helpful, courteous and nothing is ever a problem”.

In a report written by SSAIB, the assessor also issued a good practice to Eboracum:
“The Assessor examined the site documentation during the visit to customer sites and noted that the documentation went above and beyond the recommendations made within BS7960:2005. In addition to the Assignment Instructions and risk assessments, a number of other documents had been collated and bound into a single site operating manual. The manual also includes the site daily occurrence book, read and understood statement for AI’s, a record of duty staff, a venue entry refusal record, a drugs discovery record, temporary and change of instruction record (to be endorsed by a customer signature), a customer decision log and copies of insurance certificates. The benefit of these documents being bound into a single document so that pages cannot be mislaid and the records assist the customer with their licensing requirements.”

Five of our employees were also interviewed as part of the process to verify staff welfare, payroll, conditions, review process and general morale.

For more information about the SIA Approved contractor scheme, please visit the SIA website her:
http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/acs-intro.aspx

 

 

Hotel Indigo – Secured by Eboracum

Eboracum Security have the pleasure of winning a brand new conciergeHILO style Security contract at Hotel Indigo.
Hotel Indigo is a newly built Hotel opening this month on Walmgate in York.

The service involves the provision of SIA Licensed Security Operatives to Hotel Indigo with a special focus on integrating them into the Hotel’s overall look, feel and customer experience.

Carl Nickson MD of Eboracum said:
“We have been working closely with Mike Sweeting – the General Manager at Hotel Indigo and have satisfied a number of the Hotel’s Licensing requirements such as provision and maintenance of the premises log book, incident log and due diligence checks.
This compliments the concierge service we offer allowing us to drive an all-in-one security solution.”

Hotel Indigo boasts an exciting offer of 101 bed-roomed accommodation along with a bar, HI1private meeting room and meat ball serving restaurant.
Local press releases include Meatball restaurant firm signs first franchise deal with new York hotel .

Hotel Indigo on Facebook
tel: 01904 231 333
info@inyoryk.co.uk

Eboracum sponsors Chantelle in pink collar boxing challenge…

Chantelle Cowling from York is taking part in the Pink Collar Boxing charity box challenge on 28th June 2015.

Eboracum are sponsoring Chantelle and the proceeds are being donated to the York Special Care Baby Unit - a fantastic charity who support many families every day.

Chantelle will be teaming up with 19 other local ladies in an 8 week intensive training programme before taking part in a live boxing show.

Ladies Pink Collar Boxing is an event organisation bringing together local ladies to compete in a"White Collar Boxing" style tournament. They have raised over £130,000 for local and national charities.

For more information please visit Pink Collar Boxing website.      
Click here to visit Chantelle's just giving page.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe – Secured by Eboracum

The Great Yorkshire Fringe – A weird, wise and wonderful ten-day festival comes to York this Summer!

Eboracum Security are providing Security personnel throughout the ten day event fringewhich is set to be monumental.

Top notch comedians and fantastic family entertainment will be hitting York’s city centre in what promises to be a ten-day festival of fun and frivolity.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe takes place between July 24th and August 2nd 2015 and will see the city’s well-known thoroughfare transformed into a vibrant and exciting performance space. A curated festival with multiple stages, from the White Rose Rotunda to the little Tea Pot, there will be plenty of entertainment for young and old alike.

The line up will certainly attract people to the city and it has already boasted an act in the York Press as being Al Murray – The Pub Landlords Saloon. More details of what’s on and how to purchase tickets can be found here at www.greatyorkshirefringe.com.

 

Eboracum Security have provided similar services to the City of York Council for the last four years, Illuminating York, Jorvik Viking Festival, York Pride, Kaboom Fireworks and many more.

York Races 2015 – are you prepared?

The 2015 York Racing season is upon us and now is the time for venues to consider their security options. 
The majority of the race meets are problem free and don’t have a massive impact on business in terms of crime & disorder however there is definitely a difference in atmosphere across the city.
The most notorious & problematic event is the Yorkshire Ebor Festival which is held in August.
Last year we provided security services at various venues, on top of our regular contracts. These included hotels such as Hotel 53, Park Inn & The Royal York Hotel. Our night time economy venues booked extra provisions too as a preventative measure.
Security operatives  don’t only provide a visual deterrent against disorder but also provide reassurance to regular customers.
Police presence is increased across the city in a bid to reassure residents and visitors and these officers are connected with our staff on the city center radio system which is also monitored by the council’s CCTV control room.horse

The dates for the 2015 York Race period are below…

Dante Festival 2015

Wed 13th May: Tattersalls Musidora Stakes
Thu 14th May: Betfred Dante Stakes
Fri 15th May: Yorkshire Cup

May Spring Meeting 2015

Sat 30th May: Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup

June Meeting 2015

Fri 12th June: Mid Summer Raceday
Sat 13th June: Macmillan Charity Raceday

John Smith’s Cup Meeting 2015

Fri 10th July: Summer Stakes
Sat 11th July: 56th John Smith’s Cup

Music Showcase Weekend 2015

Fri 24th July: EBF Lyric Stakes and live music
Sat 25th July: Sky Bet York Stakes and live music

Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2015

Wed 19th August: Juddmonte International
Thu 20th August: Darley Yorkshire Oaks & Ladies Day
Fri 21st August: Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes
Sat 22nd August: Betfred Ebor Day

September Meeting 2015

Sun 6th September: The Press Family Raceday

October Meeting 2015

Fri 9th October: Countryside Raceday
Sat 10th October: Coral Sprint Trophy

To find out more about what we can do to prevent disorder/issues over the racing period at your site/venue please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Eboracum Customers receive FREE First Aid training…

We now offer our existing customers a number of complimentary training benefits in partnership with our sister company Eboracum Training.

One of these benefits is two free spaces per year on our emergency first aid course.

Today, a number of our customers including The Whippet Inn (North St) & The Blue Bicycle (Fossgate) booked a number of their staff on the exclusive customer-only complimentary First Aid course. This is just one of the benefits of being a customer of Eboracum Security.

The course meets HSE regulations and learners receive a national qualification in Emergency First Aid at Work.

Learners covered the following topics:

  • Action in an Emergencycpr1
  • Casualty Care
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Burns and Scalds
  • Wounds and Bleeding
  • Choking
  • Treatment of Shock

Photographs from today’s course:

 

For more information about courses available from Eboracum Training, please visit www.EboracumTraining.com

This course is also offered to non-customers at very competitive prices.

York – It’s In Our Name.

eb1York – It’s In Our Name.
Our approach is unique.  It’s not what we do, its how we do it.”

We play a fundamental part of York’s community. Our approach is unique because we actually care about the city.  We try our best to work with other organisations and authorities. In doing so, the joined-up approach means more effective ways to pool resources, knowledge and support.

 Who benefits from our approach?

  • The local business community
  • Local authorities
  • Town centre management & Shopping Centre management
  • Police
  • Residents & visitors to the town centre
  • Other agencies and organisations who have a responsibility to ensure our town and city centres are safe and secure.
  • Young people who are criminalised unnecessarily

Aims & Objectives of our approach

  • Reduce business crime and the feeling of vulnerability of crime to members of the public.
  • Help to identify and deter persistent offenders/trouble makers/offenders
  • Using information to increase vigilance in the city
  • Raises the profile and puts positive intervention on the agenda
  • Provide a service that allows more effective use of Police resources
  • Attempt to fulfil our moral obligations to reduce and prevent crime by educating, training and empowering
  • Contribute to securing the future and prosperity of the town/city centre
  • Promotes partnership working with local authorities
  • Promote a general feeling of being safe and secure.

Managing business crime risks has become a critical activity. Crime has a negative effect on the quality and use of our city centre.  These include:

  • Loss of custom due to crime and fear of crime, resulting in a loss in footfall and reduced profit
  • Loss of investment, leading to empty premises
  • Less choice for customers
  • Less employment opportunities
  • Less busy and deserted streets leads to a lowering of people’s perception of safety
  • difficulties in obtaining affordable insurance
  • knock-on effect and downturn for the local economy and community
  • A broken window approach – the more run down an area is, the more crime that happens because offenders assume that no-one is bothered to act.

How our approach contributes to Policing:

  • Emphasis on crime prevention and reducing the opportunity for crime to happen in the first place will potentially allow re-deployment of resources who can focus more serious incidents and other priorities.
  • Local knowledge of known nominal’s for all types of business crime puts us one step ahead.
  • Working very closely with the Police in order to allow a streamlined process for detection and prevention and provides a “best practice” guidance.

To hear more about what we do please feel free to get in touch any time – mail@eboracumsecurity.com or 0800 644 1660.

Legal Curiosities: Fact or Fable?

Legal Curiosities: Fact or Fable?

This informal information was produced by the Law Commission’s Statute Law Repeals team to answer some of the queries that they regularly receive about alleged old laws. Most of the curiosities below have no basis in the law as it currently stands, although a few represent the law as it used to be. This list does not purport to be definitive, and readers should not rely on it without conducting their own research. 

It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

In Force: Yes

The 1313 Statute Forbidding Bearing of Armour forbids members of Parliament from wearing armour in the House.

 

It is illegal to die in Parliament.

In Force: No

The issue of dying in Parliament appears to arise from the idea that anyone who dies in a Royal Palace is eligible for a state funeral. We have not been able to trace any such law, and neither have the House of Commons authorities. Under the Coroners Act 1988, the coroner of the Queen’s household has jurisdiction over an inquest into a death in a royal palace. However, state funerals are not mandatory. There have been at least four deaths in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster:
– Guy Fawkes and Sir Walter Raleigh were both executed in the Old Palace yard (the present buildings being the New Palace, built after the fire of 1834).
– Spencer Perceval, the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated, was shot and died in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812.
– Sir Alfred Billson collapsed and died in the House of Commons ‘Aye’ lobby in 1907, while casting his vote on a sugar duty Bill. None of these men received a state funeral. Spencer Perceval’s was a private funeral at his widow’s request.

 

It is illegal to place a stamp of the Queen upside down on a letter.

In Force: No

The Treason Felony Act 1848 makes it an offence to do any act with the intention of deposing the monarch, but it seems unlikely that placing a stamp upside down fulfils this criterion. The Act itself certainly does not refer to stamps. According to the Royal Mail, it is perfectly acceptable to put a stamp upside-down.

 

It is illegal to stand within 100 yards of the reigning monarch without wearing socks.

In Force: No

Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I all passed sumptuary laws, which regulated clothing styles. For example, the 1562 Articles for the Execution of the Statutes of Apparel prohibited anyone from appearing at the royal court wearing shirts with “outrageous double ruffs”, or hose of “monstrous and outrageous greatness”. However, such laws were generally repealed by James I.

 

It is illegal for a commoner to permit his animal to have carnal knowledge of a pet of the royal household.

In Force: No evidence

This law is usually attributed to George I. However, none of the Acts of his reign relate to royal pets (although the Criminal Law Act 1722, now repealed, did institute the death penalty for killing deer in the royal forests). We can find no evidence of a statute on royal pets from any other period.

 

It is illegal to harbour a Catholic priest.

In Force: No

The two Acts which made this treasonous were the First Act of Supremacy 1534 and the Treason Act 1534 (under which Thomas More was executed). Both have now been repealed.

 

It is illegal not to carry out at least two hours of longbow practice a week.

In Force: No

The Unlawful Games Act 1541 required every Englishman between the ages of 17 and 60 (with various exemptions) to keep a longbow and regularly practise archery. However, this Act was repealed by the Betting and Gaming Act 1960.

 

It is illegal to crack a boiled egg at the sharp end.

In Force: No evidence

This law is usually attributed to Edward VI. However, the only statute of his reign relating to eggs concerned the theft of eggs from birds’ nests, rather than a particular manner of eating them, and it has been repealed. Neither is there evidence of a law on boiled eggs from any other period.
It is worth noting that the question of which way an egg should be broken caused the war between Lilliput and Blefuscu in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

 

It is illegal to keep a lunatic without a licence.

In Force: No

The Madhouses Act 1774 made it an offence to keep “more than one Lunatick” without a licence for a madhouse. It has now been repealed.

 

It is illegal to damage grass.

In Force: Not Quite

Not quite The Commons Act 1876 made it an offence to interfere with or disturb a town or village green. The offence is aimed at interruptions to the use of the green, rather than damage to the grass itself. However, damage to a lawn may be covered by general laws on criminal damage.

 

It is illegal to be drunk on licensed premises.

In Force: Yes

Under s 12 of the Licensing Act 1872, “every person found drunk… on any licensed remises, shall be liable to a penalty”. It is also an offence under the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 for the keeper of a public house to permit drunkenness or disorderly conduct on the premises. Furthermore, under the Licensing Act 2003, it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk, or to obtain alcohol for consumption by a person who is drunk.

 

It is illegal to carry a plank along a pavement.

In Force: Yes

This is an offence under s 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. Other offences covered by s 54 include flying kites, playing annoying games, and sliding on ice or snow in the street.

 

It is illegal to beat or shake any carpet or rug in any street. However, beating or shaking a doormat is allowed before 8am.

In Force: Yes

This is an offence under s 60 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. In other districts, it is an offence under s 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

Other offences covered by s 28 include:

– keeping a pigsty in front of your house;

– slaughtering cattle in the street;

– erecting a washing line across the street;

– singing profane or obscene songs or ballads in the street; and

– wilfully and wantonly disturbing people by ringing their doorbells or knocking at their doors.

 

It is illegal to drive cows down the roadway without the permission of the Commissioner of Police.

In force; Yes

Yes The Metropolitan Streets Act 1867 made it an offence to drive cattle through the streets between 10am and 7pm, except with the permission of the Commissioner of Police.

 

It is illegal to be drunk in charge of a horse.

In Force: Yes

Under the Licensing Act 1872, it is an offence to be drunk in charge of a carriage, horse, cow or steam engine, or whilst in possession of a loaded firearm.

 

It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day.

In Force: No

The only Christmas Day on which eating mince pies was illegal was in 1644, as 25 December that year fell on a legally-mandated day of fasting.
Subsequently, the Long Parliament of the Interregnum banned all celebrations of Christmas (An Ordinance for Abolishing of Festivals, 1647). However, mince pies themselves were never banned, although they were strongly disapproved of as a symbol of the immoral excesses of the festive season. Further legislation was proposed in 1656 to clamp down on illicit Christmas celebrations, but it was never enacted.

Statutes of the Interregnum were held to be invalid following the Restoration of the Monarchy, as they had been passed without Royal Assent. Some statutes were later re-enacted by Charles II, but the 1647 Ordinance that banned Christmas was not amongst them.

 

It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing.

In Force: Not quite

This appears to be a simplification of the Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006. This requires the disclosure of arrangements securing a tax advantage where those benefiting wish to keep it confidential in order to facilitate repeated benefits: the desire for confidentiality is regarded as a hallmark of an unacceptable tax arrangement.

 

It is legal to shoot a Welshman with a longbow on Sunday in the Cathedral Close in Hereford; or inside the city walls of Chester after midnight; or a Scotsman within the city walls of York, other than on a Sunday.

In Force: No

It is illegal to shoot a Welsh or Scottish (or any other) person regardless of the day, location or choice of weaponry. The idea that it may once have been allowed in Chester appears to arise from a reputed City Ordinance of 1403, passed in response to the Glyndŵr Rising, and imposing a curfew on Welshmen in the city. However, it is not even clear that this Ordinance ever existed. Sources for the other cities are unclear; Hereford, like Chester, was frequently under attack from Wales during the medieval period. Unlawful killings are today covered by the criminal law; see also Art. 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to life.

 

It is illegal to move a body across a parish or county boundary unless a fee is paid and a coffin is used. If a body is moved across private land, it will create a public footpath.

In Force : No

The body of a baby, child or adult may be moved anywhere within England and Wales, without using a coffin and without charge or permission, as long as the work of the coroner is not obstructed. A coroner must, however, consent before the body can be taken out of England and Wales. The belief that fees must be paid on crossing boundaries probably derives from the payment of tolls on old turnpike roads. Bodies do not magically create rights of way over private land

 

It is legal for a pregnant woman to relieve herself anywhere she likes, including in a policeman’s helmet.

In Force: No

There is no generally applicable offence of urinating in public, although it is often an offence under local byelaws. Local authorities are expected to exercise discretion in deciding whether to prosecute, based on, for example, the nature of the locality and the availability of public toilets nearby. There does not appear to be a specific exemption for pregnant women, but discretion not to charge might be exercised if a pregnant woman were caught short in public. However, it does seem unlikely that a police officer would offer his helmet for the purpose.

 

It is illegal to flag a taxi if you have the plague.

In Force: Not quite

Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, no person who is known to be suffering from a notifiable disease (including plague) may enter a public conveyance without notifying the driver of the condition. A taxi driver may then agree to convey the passenger, although notice must be given to the local authority afterwards, and the taxi disinfected before the next passenger enters it. A bus driver, however, would not be allowed to convey such a person.

 

It is illegal to pick up an abandoned package.

In Force: Not quite

Under the Postal Services Act 2000, it is an offence intentionally to open or delay a postal packet. Interfering with someone else’s package may also constitute the tort of conversion or trespass to goods.

 

It is illegal to destroy or deface money.

In Force: Yes
It is not illegal to deliberately destroy a banknote. However, under the Currency and  Banknotes Act 1928, it is an offence to deface a banknote by printing, stamping or writing on it. The Coinage Act 1971 also makes it an offence to destroy a metal coin that has been current in the UK since 1969, unless a licence to do so has been granted by the Treasury.

 

It is illegal to handle salmon in suspicious circumstances.

In Force: Yes

This is an offence under the Salmon Act 1986.


All swans are the property of the Queen, and killing one is an act of treason.

In Force; Not quite
Since the 12th century, the Crown has held the right to ownership over all wild, unmarked mute swans in open water. However, the Queen only exercises her right over parts of the Thames and its tributaries. This right is shared with the Vintners’ Company and the Dyers’ Company, livery companies of the City of London.

Every year, the Swan Upping ceremony is carried out by the Crown and the Companies to record and mark all the swans in the area.
Killing one of the Queen’s mute swans may be unlawful, but it has never been an act of treason. Furthermore, tame swans and all other varieties of wild swan (eg whooper and Bewick’s swans) are free.


The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail the property of the Queen.

In Force: Not quite

Under the 14th century statute Prerogativa Regis, all whales and sturgeons found on the coast are the property of the Crown. This law is still in force, although a sturgeon caught in Swansea Bay in 2004 was declined by the royal household, and ended up in the Natural History Museum. (It is worth noting that both whales and sturgeons are now European protected species, and it is illegal to deliberately catch or kill them.)

The idea that the head and tail are to be divided between the King and Queen seems to originate from the 13th century legal treatise known as Bracton. Blackstone in his Commentaries claims that the reason for the rule was to provide the Queen with whalebone for her corset stays. However, as Herman Melville points out in Moby-Dick, this is clearly  incorrect: whalebone, or baleen, is only found in a whale’s mouth.