City of Wolverhampton Council is asking the public to remain vigilant after receiving reports of unregistered tattooists operating across the city and wider Black Country and putting the public at risk .

Council environmental health officers have received complaints regarding unlicensed tattooists, also sometimes referred to as a ‘scratchers’, undertaking work on a mobile basis across the region. 

Tattooists must be registered with the council so that checks can be carried out to ensure correct infection prevention and hygiene measures are in place to protect the public. 
All work should be carried out at a registered premises and tattooists should display a copy of their certificate of registration in a prominent position. 

Without these measures in place, people can be at serious risk of harm from potentially life threatening blood infections. 

People are being urged to use the following checklist to ensure tattooists are registered and operating safely: 

  • check whether the person has undergone recognised training and qualifications
  • make sure the tattooist is wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) and is undertaking regular handwashing 
  • make sure sealed, single use needles are being used

If in any doubt, people are advised to contact the council which keeps a full database of registered practitioners in the area. 

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “Tattooing comes with serious risks if not undertaken correctly, including potentially life threatening blood infections such as Hepatitis, HIV, and tetanus. 

“Unregistered tattooists pose a serious risk to health as the council is unable to assess if the correct standards and infection prevention measures are being adopted to protect the public. 

“I urge anyone with any information about unregistered practitioners or if you have  any concerns at all to contact our environmental health team.” 

Any member of the public with any information or concerns, or any tattooist wishing to get registered or who would like any infection prevention advice can contact the Environmental Health team via