Council warning over dangers of using unregistered tattooists

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Press Release

Published on 8 December 2021
Archived on 8 January 2022

Officials from Stratford-on-Avon District Council are issuing a warning about the potential dangers of using unregistered tattooists and piercers who may be operating in the District.

As more people opt to get piercings or tattoos, going to unregistered places could lead to deadly conditions such as HIV or hepatitis.

District Council Environmental Health Officers visit registered premises regularly and monitor compliance against the regulations and local bye-laws to ensure hygiene standards are met and equipment is sterilised correctly.  Unregistered tattooists may operate in unhygienic conditions with poor quality equipment.

If equipment isn't sterilised properly or strict hygiene requirements haven't been adhered to, there could be an increased risk to health and a tattoo could result in scarring, an infection or transmission of a blood borne disease such as Hepatitis B or HIV. 

All tattooists and skin piercers operating in Stratford-on-Avon District must be registered with the District Council, who also keep records of all registered tattooists and skin piercers and issues registration certificates, which must be clearly displayed on the premises.

Cllr Christopher Kettle, Community Protection Portfolio Holder said: "One of the main reasons for registration is the protection of public health, particularly against the spread of infection.  If their certificate isn't on display the likelihood is that they aren't registered.? 

"The Council believes that there may be unregistered businesses operating in the District and we are keen to make people aware of this.  To protect others, 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, for your own safety, ensure you only use a registered operator - don't be tempted into a cheaper rate offered by an unregistered tattooist as it's simply not worth the risk."

Anyone who is aware of a tattooist in the District operating without the relevant registration or offering to tattoo under 18's, should contact the District Council on 01789 260211 or via email on

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 08/12/2021