A HAMPSHIRE tattoo parlour has been stopped from operating by health inspectors.

They found that unless the shop was stopped carrying out work there was a risk of spreading disease.

It comes after a routine inspection at the Eye of the Needle in Winchester.

Council officers uncovered that the sterilisation and hygiene procedures at the shop were inadequate.

During their investigation an environmental health team found that there could have been a "significant risk in the spread of blood born viruses" had trading been allowed to persist.

The shop in Stockbridge Road, Winchester, which has been operating for about two years, was issued with a Prohibition Notice by Winchester City Council.

It will only be allowed to provide tattoos again after another inspection by health experts.

Details of the inspection have been released in a statement from the council.

A notice in the window said the shop was closed for refurbishment and would reopen on May 7.

The shop is allowed to stay open to discuss future work with customers. However, staff will be unable to carry out any further tattooing works until the notice has been lifted.

Robert Heathcock, head of environment health for the city council, said a prohibition notice was "the only option" because they had "such concerns" over the premises.

"We are in discussion with the proprietor of the premises to ensure a high level of hygiene is put in place that will meet our requirements and the notice will only be lifted once we are satisfied that the premises can operate without risk to health," he said.