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Tattooing - Think Before You Ink


Think Before You Ink aims to raise awareness of the:

  • Public health risks of illegal tattooing
  • Legal requirements for tattoo artists & their premises to be registered with St.Helens Council
  • Minimum age for a person to be tattooed

    We also have strict reporting procedures in place for the following:
  • A tattoo being done in unregistered premises / in someone's home
  • A tattoo that has become infected
  • Someone under 18 who has been tattooed

    To report any of the above, please contact us immediately by email or write to us, with all the details and how we can contact you should we need further information, at:
    Environmental Health,
    Wesley House,
    Corporation Street,
    St Helens WA10 1HE

We operate a registration scheme for the tattoo artists and their premises to be registered with the Council.  This is a requirement under Section 15 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Anyone found to be running an unregistered tattooing business could have their equipment seized and face a fine of up to £1000.

If you would like more information on registering as a tattooing business and the Bylaws please visit the licensing web page

If you would like to open a tattoo studio you are advised that planning permission may be required.  For further information contact the Planning Department, St Helens Council, Development Services, Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP. Tel: 01744 676219 or visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/planning .  Failure to obtain planning permission may result in formal action being taken.

Unregistered tattooists often work from home or at ‘tattoo parties’ using cheap kits bought online. These kits can be poor quality and come without instructions on how to clean the equipment effectively. The inks provided have also been found to contain bacteria and high levels of toxic metals.

Prevention of infection is not just a case of using a new needle for each person, sharing any equipment, including items like ink pots, is a risk.

As appealing as it might be to be tattooed, using an unregistered tattooist, often at reduced price or if you are underage, it’s simply not worth the risk.

The tattooing procedure can be likened to minor surgery; if it is done incorrectly or by a person who does not have the suitable controls in place you could be putting yourself at risk of contracting unwanted blood borne viruses

It is against the law to tattoo a person who is under the age of 18.  Parental consent cannot be accepted if the person is under the age of 18.  If a person is tattooed and they are under the age of 18 the tattoo artist could face having a criminal record, a fine of up to £1000 and could be at risk of losing their registration if they are registered with the Council.   

Taking care of your tattoo following the advice provided by the tattoo artist is just as important as the tattoo artist following strict hygiene procedures in their studio. 

If you would like to report a person working from an unregistered premises, such as the home, if your tattoo has become infected, or you have been tattooed and are under the age of 18, or you would like further information or advice on anything detailed on this web page you can contact: