Laws in the UK


Smoking is banned in all public buildings in Britain including bars, restaurants, shops, stations, cinemas and on all public transport. You can still smoke on the street. 


It is illegal to carry any weapon for defence including gas and sprays. You will be arrested if the police stop you and you have a knife with you. 


Britain has strict laws against the use of illegal drugs and punishments can be very heavy. You are strongly urged not to use illegal drugs during your stay. 


People who are caught stealing from shops should expect to be taken to court. 


You cannot ride a bike on a pavement and you must have lights if you cycle at night. A helmet is not obligatory but it is strongly recommended that you wear one. 

TV Licence

Every house/flat that has a TV must have a TV licence. If you rent a room or are in a flat-share, find out who is responsible for getting the TV licence. 

Council Tax

This is a local tax that is charged on each property. It varies in different boroughs (districts) in London and each has its own rules for discounts for students. 


In an emergency take the following steps as appropriate.

  • - For emergency services (ambulance/police/fire service) dial 999 on your phone.
  • - For free health advice and guidance and less serious emergencies dial 111 on your phone.
  • - To contact the police on a less urgent number dial 101 on your phone.
  • - Get someone to take you to the nearest hospital Urgent Casualty Centre (UCC).