Talented town tattooist ’inks new scheme is a ‘great idea’

John Robertson from Spy Monkey.
John Robertson from Spy Monkey.

A TOWN tattooist is delighted to have been awarded top marks as part of a new hygiene ratings scheme.

Talented John Robertson, who owns Spy Monkey tattoo studio in York Road, Hartlepool, was “over the moon” to have received four stars – the highest rating – in a Hartlepool Borough Council hygiene scheme.

The council was the first local authority in the country to launch the innovative initiative to raise the hygiene standards of tattoo studios across Hartlepool.

Today, John told the Hartlepool Mail: “I am over the moon.

“We did everything we could in order to get good recognition.

“We are really pleased and it shows that we have very high hygiene standards.”

He added: “We are in favour of this new scheme and the star ratings.

“It’s a great idea.”

The Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme (THRS) is a voluntary scheme designed to inform members of the public about the hygiene standards in individual tattoo premises.

It also aims to drive up cleanliness and professionalism standards and help combat the risk of incidents of infection and of transmission of infectious disease from tattooing.

Studios are given one of four ratings:

• 1 - needs improvement,

• 2 - satisfactory,

• 3 - good,

• 4 - very good.

The large majority of Hartlepool studios have agreed to sign up and the first four to be inspected have all been given the top rating. They are Intravenous Ink, Wishful Inkin, Copes Studio, and Spy Monkey.

Once inspected, tattoo studios receive a certificate and a window sticker.

Studios can also appeal their grading if they believe they have been unfairly marked.

Kez Hill, of Intravenous Ink, in Northgate, said: “It gives you confidence as a tattoo artist and also the public too.”