Tattoo ratings ensure body art is quality

Tattooists are now under the microscope more

Tattooists are now under the microscope more

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Blackpool has become one of the first towns in the country to introduce a new hygiene rating system for tattoo parlours and other body modification businesses.

The scheme, which covers piercing operators and permanent make-up artists, will give premises a mark out of five and work in a similar way to the national food hygiene star ratings.

It is hoped it will reduce the risk of people inadvertently using badly run outlets.

Any premises which do not work to a good cleanliness standard will receive a low rating which will inform consumer choice.

They could also face prosecution if breaches of health and safety legislation are found.

The scheme is voluntary but any premises that refuse to take part in the scheme will also be listed.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We have a duty to protect people, particularly young people and, as such, we want to make sure all tattooing and piercing premises are clean and fully compliant with the law.

“Creating this system will ensure regular inspection and create a public-facing record of the results to allow people to make an informed and sensible choice.”

Last year, Blackpool body piercer James Woods sparked a public health scare after he was discovered to have been operating his premises without electricity.

He was ordered to carry out 160 hours’ community service after being prosecuted for health and safety offences.

In May last year, Mark Crane was given a two-year conditional discharge by Blackpool magistrates after tattooing a 12-year-old girl.

The first two premises to be inspected under the new council scheme were Hello Sailor on Church Street and Revival Tattoos on Whitegate Drive, which were both given five stars.

Sean Powell, from Hello Sailor, said: “We think it’s a great thing for Blackpool and it’s long overdue.

“Because it mirrors the food hygiene rating system it’s recognisable to people and everyone will understand how it works. It’s ideal.”

Mark Stephenson, from Revival, said: “We think this will help to stop inexperienced people opening up tattoo studios in Blackpool and putting the public health of the people of Blackpool at risk.”

People can go to go to www.blackpool.gov.uk/tattoo to check a hygiene rating.

Blackpool Council has also recently implemented a new regulatory system for the town’s sunbed shops to ensure they are compliant.