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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Lighting a bonfire can be illegal if a person lights a fire, or directs/permits such fire, on land and the fire/smoke injures, interrupts or endangers users of a highway/carriageway.

Otherwise, the smoke created by the fire can be a statutory nuisance, and the environmental health department of your local authority will be able to take action if the smoke is classed as a statutory nuisance. You need to record the details of who is lighting the fires, what time, what the effects were and your details.

If the fires are very irregular then it is unlikely that the council will take any action. The council can stop the person from committing a statutory nuisance and failure to comply can lead to prosecution.

See the Citizens Advice bureau's website for further information.

See the website in related information to find your local authority.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.