News item

Illegal tattooist fined £820

Following the successful prosecution by City of York Council in March this year of an unregistered tattooist, the council has taken action against another unauthorised tattooist who has been sentenced today (28 August) at York Magistrate’s Court and fined £820.

Mark Chambers is being prosecuted for tattooing people without being registered with the council as a tattooist and tattooing from premises (his home) which was also not registered in contravention of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. 

A member of the public tipped off Trading Standards officers that Mr Chambers was using a Facebook page called ‘Mark’s Tattoos’ to advertise. Having found his address, officers visited him at home to give him an opportunity to register as a tattooist. He denied tattooing from this address but, using evidence to prove that he was doing so, the council obtained a court order to allow entry to his property and seize his tattooing equipment on 1 May 2014. Ten tattoo guns and over 40 containers of tattooing ink were confiscated.

Evidence from the Facebook pages showed that he operated in York between 18 Feb 2014 and 21 March 2014 and in one instance carried out five tattoos in a 24-hour period. He operated an appointment system for clients and on his Facebook site claimed he was ‘experienced’ and used ‘professional equipment’ which was kept ‘fully sterilised and up to standards’.

Mr Chambers was fined £200 for each of his two offences plus a
£20 surcharge and was ordered to pay a £400 contribution to costs. 

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Safer Communities, said: “Only use a registered tattooist who operates from registered premises.

Everyone who is registered will have a certificate issued by the council and you should ask to see it or, to confirm that a tattooist’s registration is valid, call (01904) 551525. While the council regularly checks standards at registered tattoo parlours, those who aren’t registered tattooists go unchecked and could put their customers’ health at risk.

“It might be cheaper, but the quality of an unregistered tattooist’s work is likely to be poor and, even if you’re not charged for it, it is still illegal. Anyone who knows of a tattooist operating illegally, is urged to give the council as much detail as possible to help protect others contracting potentially life-threatening infections.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at City of York Council, said: “As tattooing and body piercing becomes more common, improper or unsanitary methods used in these procedures can carry high health risks in the short and long-term. These can include infections from Staphylococci and Streptococci bacteria which, in rare cases, cause invasive infections that can result in severe illness, septicaemia, amputation or death and, in particular, the risk of the transmission of blood-borne viruses like hepatitis B, C and HIV.”

Dr Simon Padfield of Public Health England said: “Anyone who has had a tattoo in the past from an unregistered tattooist and is concerned should contact their GP who will be able to offer tests for blood-borne viruses.”

To register as a tattooist in York, the necessary forms and current charges can be found at – search ‘tattooing – or go to

A Tattoo and Body Piercing Guidance Toolkit has been published by Public Health England and is available for businesses and regulators at:


DATE: 28 August 2014