Is illegal tattooing rife in Preston? Second scratcher is fined

Posted on - 13th April, 2016 - 5:55pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston Council, Preston News, Ribbleton
Some of the kit recovered from the Ribbleton man's home

Some of the kit recovered from the Ribbleton man’s home

Another ‘scratcher’ tattoo artist working from his home illegally has been fined.


Ribbleton man Stephen Vickers was found guilty of operating as an illegal tattooist.

Environmental health officers raided his Dorman Road home to discover the 35-year-old had been carrying out tattooing in unhygienic conditions in his kitchen.

Preston Magistrates Court ordered Vickers to pay £1,640 in his absence on Wednesday 13 April.

During the raid the officers recovered tattooing machines, a box of tattooing needles, bottles of tattooing inks and a sharps box filled with used needles.

It was found the equipment being used by Vickers was not being effectively sterilised.

Chief Environmental health officer Craig Sharp said: “This is the second prosecution we have brought relating to unregistered tattooists this year; these illegal ‘scratchers’ pose a real danger to the public’s health. They can use unsterilised equipment that seriously increases the risk of spreading diseases such as hepatitis or HIV, as well as the potential to cause permanent ugly scarring.

“If that wasn’t bad enough, the equipment they use is often substandard and bought cheaply off the internet. The inks used are often substandard and out of date. People also tell us that the quality of the tattoo they had done was so poor that they had to spend time and money getting it corrected.

“These unregistered tattooists are often willing to illegally tattoo children and can cause damage that lasts a lifetime, knowing that children will be unlikely to report them to us or the Police.”

Vickers was ordered by the court to pay a fine of £660 for failing to register himself as a tattooist and the same again for failing to register his home as the premises where he was operating from. He was also ordered to pay a £66 victims surcharge and £330 towards prosecution costs.

Related: Fishwich woman fined for illegall tattooing in her kitchen

Anyone with information about illegal tattooing is asked to call the Environmental health department on 01772906907 or email

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