TPIU Response to Underage Tattoo

The British tabloid paper The Daily Mail published this article on 24th August 2013 about a fourteen year old child who was tattooed by a scratcher who had bought a cheap tattoo kit from eBay. Ross Richardson was prosecuted and fined £40 plus costs. This was a very light punishment for someone breaking the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969.

The TPIU has previously approached eBay to ask them to ban the selling of cheap tattoo kits, as it leads to untrained scratchers tattooing underage children in unhygienic surroundings, reusing needles and caps which can lead to serious infections, including hepatitis and HIV. Management at eBay have so far refused to consider this – which can only lead to more incidents like this one.

Operator Guidance Document Launched Online

The Tattoo & Piercing Industry Union has been working closely with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Public Health England and the Health & Safety Laboratory to produce a document that gives practical help and advice for tattooists and piercers in running a safe and hygienic studio. It has taken several years of work across several public organisations (as well as the TPIU) as every piece of advice has been academically researched, cross referenced and validated.

This document will also be distributed to Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) so that they are aware of the standards required – and so that studios know what EHOs are looking for during inspections.

The Operator Guidance can be downloaded here for free, and includes the main toolkit, checklists and posters.

Next Meeting

The next TPIU meeting is at 12 noon on Monday 30th September at the Marx Memorial Library in Farringdon, London. If you’d like to attend, you can reserve your place by emailing

You can find directions to the Marx Memorial Library and details about its history here.

New Committee & Latest News

Hello all

The TPIU AGM happened on 29th July 2013 and a new committee was elected and is currently:

    • President: Rik Stevens
    • Vice President: Cilla North
    • Treasurer: Chris Bloomfield
    • Secretary: Caz Old
    • Press Officer: Chic Child

 A lot was also discussed, especially the new operator guidance, recruitment and membership communication. There’s a lot of changes coming and the update of this website is just the start! So stay tuned!

The website should be easier to navigate now, with clearly marked pages for downloads and links, the TPIU ‘about us’ and all sorts of useful information. The TPIU committee are going through the website page by page to make sure it is all as up-to-date and relevant as possible. We know that our communication has needed some work for a while now and are finally getting on top of it all. Our Twitter and Facebook pages are up and running too, so please check them out, and follow and like us there too!