An unregistered tattooist working illegally from her North Shields home has had equipment seized and been told to stop her work.
Environmental health officers from North Tyneside Council and officers from North Shields neighbourhood policing team served the 23-year-old with a court order to stop tattooing – or risk a fine of up to £20,000.
Equipment including inks, tattoo power pack, cables, various solutions and a collection of designs and artwork was also seized.
Senior environmental health officer Paul Sanderson Read said: “The health and well-being of residents is a priority for the council and unregistered tattooists can put people’s safety at risk.
“There is a high risk of infection, disease or permanent scarring when a tattooist is unregistered because we don’t know what facilities and procedures they have in place to control the risk of infection.”
Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt, from North Tyneside Area Command, said: “We hope this case shows that we do take this issue of unregistered tattooists seriously.
“This is why we are working with North Tyneside Council to tackle the problem.”
He added: “We want to remind people who use the services of an unregistered tattooist that they run the risk of serious infection, disease or being permanently scarred. Unregistered premises have not been inspected and the equipment has not been checked to make sure it’s clean and suitable for use.
“If anyone has any information about any unregistered tattooists we would urge them to contact police on 101.”
The operation is part of an ongoing campaign in the borough called ‘Thinking of inking?’ run by the police and the council.
The initiative includes taking action against illegal tattooists known as ‘scratchers’, raising awareness of the health risks associated with using them and preventing underage tattooing.