Warning over unregistered tattoo artists

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A rise in the number of unregistered tattoo artists has prompted the council to warn against at-home tattoos, piercings, acupuncture or other treatments involving needles.

Unclean needles could result in life threatening viruses such as HIV, hepatitis or severe blistering and pain.

Council environmental health inspectors regularly visit parlours to ensure tattooists are following the rules and using clean equipment.

Nicholas Thompson, owner of Art of Ink in Bond Street Court, Spalding, said: “If a tattooist doesn’t have a certificate of registration on the wall or they don’t have one to show, people shouldn’t be getting a tattoo from them.

“There are a lot of unregistered people. Don’t go for the cheapest option because you’ll end up paying 10 times more for it to be removed or covered up.

“People need to remember that getting a tattoo in someone’s kitchen is not going to be the most hygenic way. There are a lot of people out there doing it.

“We all wear gloves, uniforms, wash our hands at the start, use new equipment. We use brand new razors, brand new everything, every time. We don’t re-use anything because we have to minimise cross-contamination.”

Coun Anthony Casson, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “One of the main reasons for registration is the protection of public health, particularly against the spread of infection.

“We believe that there may be unregistered skin piercers operating in the district and we are keen to make people aware of this. We would encourage anyone who suspects that a skin piercer is operating illegally to report this to us.

“If you are considering any of these treatments, please ensure you only use a registered operator.”

If you become aware of a tattooist in South Holland operating without the relevant registration or offering to tattoo under-18s, contact the police on 101 or South Holland District Council on 01775 761161 or via email on foodhs@sholland.gov.uk