Calls for tougher action on unlicensed tattoo parlours

A decade ago there were about 300 licensed tattoo parlours in Britain.

Today, there are more than 1,500, and three in 10 people aged between 25-34 years have at least one piece of body art.

Yet there is relatively little legislation to protect the public from either terrible artwork or serious infection.

There is now evidence of an increasing number of unregulated tattooists setting up, often with substandard or unlicensed equipment.

Inside Out talks to celebrity tattooist Kevin Paul from Derby who has started a campaign to try and clean up the industry.

He says more needs to be done to tackle unlicensed tattoo parlours and also has the backing of MP Chris Williamson.

Gemma Hardy from Derby, who got blood poisoning following a tattoo, believes action is needed to protect clients.

But the Department of Health says further laws are not the answer. It believes the solution is for artists, the industry and training bodies to work together to agree standards of good practice.

Inside Out is broadcast on Monday 10 February on BBC One East Midlands and nationwide for seven days thereafter on the iPlayer.

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