Unless a crime has been committed or someone is in immediate danger, the police are unlikely to intervene in civil disputes. However, we’ll put you in touch with the groups and organisations who can help. Complete the sentence below to get the advice you need to resolve your dispute as quickly and amicably as possible.

Advice tool

I’m having a dispute with a neighbour about smoke from their bonfires or barbecues

If a bonfire appears dangerously out of control and you're worried about the safety of people or property, call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.

Lighting a bonfire is not illegal, but the smoke can be a statutory nuisance. The environmental health department of your local council will be able to take action if the smoke from the bonfire is classed as a statutory nuisance.

You'll need this information: 

  • who's lighting the bonfire
  • what time
  • what are the effects of the bonfire
  • your details

The council can stop the person from committing a statutory nuisance, and failure to comply can lead to prosecution.

However, if the bonfires are only infrequent, it's unlikely the council will take any action.

The following resources may also be of use:

Citizens Advice

Find your local council

This information is provided courtesy of Ask the Police.