Unlicensed Lancashire tattoo artist fined after inspectors discover ‘unhygienic and unsafe practices’

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Environmental Health and Public Protection Officers found a "number of unhygienic practices".

An unlicensed tattoo artist in Lancashire has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 in fines and costs due to “unhygienic and unsafe practices”.

Steven Howarth, 34, was convicted at Burnley Magistrates’ Court and was fined £1,000, with an additional £400 victim surcharge and £510 in costs.

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Howarth, of Burnley Road, Crawshawbooth, was advertising his services under the name Inkflicted.

Steven Howarth was served with a Prohibition Order under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 due to unhygienic practices (Credit: Rossendale Borough Council)Steven Howarth was served with a Prohibition Order under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 due to unhygienic practices (Credit: Rossendale Borough Council)
Steven Howarth was served with a Prohibition Order under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 due to unhygienic practices (Credit: Rossendale Borough Council) | Rossendale Borough Council's

Environmental Health and Public Protection Officers, accompanied by police, visited the business in August 2023.

They subsequently found a “number of unhygienic practices and breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 had occurred”.

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A prohibition notice was served but despite ongoing efforts to obtain compliance, the unregistered tattooing continued.

Mr Howarth was found guilty by the court of carrying on the business without being registered.

A spokesman for Rossendale Borough Council's Public Protection Unit said: “More people now opt to get tattoos and going to unregistered places could lead to the risk of serious infections.

“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 and/or infection.

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“We will not tolerate unlicensed and unregistered tattoo practices that jeopardise the health and safety of our residents. This successful prosecution serves as a stern warning to those who operate outside the bounds of the law in our borough."  

The Health and Care Bill proposes to introduce a nationwide yearly licensing scheme for all cosmetic procedures including tattooing and piercing.

Working with public health partners, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health drafted and supported a key amendment to the Health and Care Bill, aimed at making the cosmetics industry safer in England.

The council urged residents to be vigilant when choosing tattoo services and to ensure that practitioners are licensed and registered with the appropriate authorities.