Police have issued a warning after a dad died from an infection he contracted after getting a tattoo.
Cleveland Police confirmed dad Ben Larry, 32, died on 6 May, due to getting a tattoo from an unofficial tattoo practitioner who used unhygienic equipment.
“Our precious, adored, kind and caring son was loved by everyone,” Larry’s family said in a statement. “He touched so many hearts.
“No parent should lose a child, no child should lose their daddy and no grandparent should lose a grandchild.
“Our hearts are broken, we are so lucky we have our two beautiful grandsons to keep his legacy and our memories of him alive.”
Cleveland Police are now warning people about the dangers of unhygienic tattoo equipment used by unlicensed tattooists.
“Cleveland police are warning the public of the dangers of unlicensed tattooists, following a recent case where a customer contracted a serious infection as a result of unhygienic equipment.
"Officers are urging people to check the Body Art register prior to visiting a tattooist. If you are still unsure whether they are registered, you can check with your local council.
"If you have concerns that you may have been tattooed in unhygienic conditions, or have symptoms of infection after getting a tattoo, please seek medical attention immediately and report concerns to your local council."
The police said a 35-year-old man has been arrested and has been bailed in connection with Larry's death as enquiries continue.
Tattoo artists need to have a tattoo, piercing and electrolysis licence to practice legally in the UK.
The licence covers tattooing, semi-permanent colouring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis and acupuncture. Both the tattoo artist and their premises must be registered with the local council.
Once approved, tattoo artists must display a copy of their certificate or licence and any bylaws in a prominent place within the premises. A fine could be issued if they fail to do so.
In Greater London - except the City of London - tattoo artists must get a Special Treatments Licence from your local council instead. This licence will also grant the person the ability to perform massages, manicures, chiropody and saunas.
Those who are granted a license are only able to work in the premises that has been licensed and they must follow strict hygiene, safety and cleanliness rules for the premises, furniture and equipment. The premises will usually be inspected before a licence is granted.