MEMBERS of the public planning on getting a tattoo are being urged to think before they ink – and ensure that the studio or artist is properly registered under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Environmental Health department is responsible for the inspection and registration of all premises where tattooing, piercing, acupuncture and electrolysis is carried out – and all such studios must be registered before they can operate, to ensure that they are safe, hygienic and comply with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
Once the premises has been inspected and approved, the council will issue a Certificate of Registration, which must be prominently displayed. If a tattooist is not displaying a valid certificate, they are operating illegally and should be reported to Tamworth Borough Council’s Environmental Health department on 01827 709709.
DIY tattooing kits are available cheaply online – allowing people to set up as cut-price tattooists without any checks or restrictions. Unregistered tattooing is illegal – and can put those getting the tattoo at risk of a range of health dangers including hepatitis and HIV.
These ‘scratchers’ are also likely to offer their services to people under the age of 18 – which is a criminal offence, even if the young person has the consent of a parent or guardian.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Environmental Health team works closely with the borough’s reputable, licensed tattooists to ensure standards are kept high and is now encouraging anyone who knows of an unregistered tattooist or anyone offering to tattoo under 18s to report it directly to the police on 101.
Cllr Joy Goodall, Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “Our Environmental Health team regularly visits all tattoo studios in the borough and works with the businesses to ensure the risk to public health is eliminated by good practices, safe environments and competent people carrying out the procedures.
”We take a very strong line on unlicensed tattooists, as safeguarding public health is a top priority for us.
“We would encourage anyone planning a tattoo to make sure they go to a reputable, registered tattooist, and to report anyone they know of who is carrying out tattoos without being properly registered.
“We are also keen to stamp out the unlawful tattooing of people under the age of 18, and call on the public to report this to the police.”
You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.