Police are cracking down on “tattoo parties” after receiving information that children as young as nine have been tattooed.
A recent incident in the Falkirk area saw youngsters under the age of 18 receiving tattoos from an unlicensed tattooists at a drink and drug-fuelled gathering in a house referred to as a “tattoo party”.
Sergeant Allyson Blair, of the interventions, intelligence and information bureau, said: “The legislation - Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 - states it is an offence to tattoo a person under the age of eighteen except when the tattoo is performed for medical reasons by a duly qualified medical practitioner or by a person under his direction.
“Further research is being carried out into the information we have received but we would strongly advise anyone who is carrying out such acts to think of the potential consequences both in legal and criminal terms as well as health implications.”
Doctor Henry Prempeh, NHS Forth Valley Public Health Consultant, added: “Getting a tattoo can lead to serious infection if it is not done with clean equipment and under safe conditions by a properly trained tattoo artist.
“The risks increase significantly if tattooing is carried out in premises that are not fit for purpose and regularly maintained such as a licensed tattoo parlour.
“Typical symptoms of a local bacterial infection are redness, swelling, warmth and pain. In some individuals these infections may become complicated and pose a serious threat to health and can result in blood borne infections, such as hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and HIV - the virus which causes AIDS.
If anyone has information on tattoo party-related activities they should call police immediately.