People in Mansfield are being asked to be on the look out for illegal tattooists, known as scratchers.
Mansfield District Council has received numerous complaints from licensed tattooists, who report that there is an increasing number of scratchers operating illegally from their homes and advertising on social media.
Illegal tattooists often do not conform to the very high safety standards required for a tattoo business.
One unlicensed tattooist believed wrongly that printer ink was safe to use. Ink from printers contains heavy metals and is not sterile, resulting in a significant risk of blood poisoning and infection which can be disfiguring or life threatening.
Coun Mick Barton, portfolio holder for public protection at Mansfield District Council, said: “We are stepping up our efforts to track down illegal operators.
“Under the Tattoo of Minors Act, it is illegal to tattoo someone under the age of 18. Young people are particularly at risk and we would like both schools and individuals to come forward if they are aware of any illegal practices, so we can investigate.
“It is essential that premises are licensed, so that we can ensure that tattoos are carried out safely. Just using a new needle each time is not enough to ensure a clean and sterile environment.
“Check out the quality of the tattooist’s work before making a decision and ensure that he or she is licensed to carry out their trade.”
For more info on tattooists in the Mansfield District, telephone 01623 463 463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org