Do Police Clean Up Crime Scenes?

Thursday 21st September 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Police tape cordoning off a crime scene CONTENTS

 

 

It's generally thought that law enforcement are in charge of cleaning up crime scenes. However, this is not the case. The responsibility actually falls on the owner of the property. 

That is not to say that you should try to clean what can be a very dangerous scene, however. You must contact professional crime scene cleaners as possible to restore the area to a safe, clean condition. 

At ICE Cleaning, we offer emergency response crime scene cleaning services nationwide. Our highly trained technicians have been accredited by a number of organisations, including the National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners. In an emergency, they can be on site within several hours. 

Keep reading to find out why the police are not responsible for cleaning up crime scenes and what the trauma clean up process entails. 

Who cleans up crime scenes?

Once the police complete their investigation, they do not engage in the task of cleaning up. The property owners is the one that has to guarantee that any remaining items from the crime scene are properly sanitised and discarded. 

This division of responsibilities exists due to the limitations within law enforcement's role which focuses on maintaining public order and investigating crimes rather than dealing with the disposal of biohazardous waste.

Cleaning these areas requires specialist knowledge due to the potential health risks associated with biological contaminants such as blood or bodily fluids that may be left behind after a traumatic event.

If not handled correctly, these contaminants can spread infectious diseases, posing a serious threat to your health. As a result, it is necessary to hire professional cleaning services who have trained staff capable of effectively handling such situations while strictly adhering to the necessary health regulations and guidelines. You can learn more about who cleans crime scenes in the UK in this blog

The dangers of crime scene cleaning

Firstly, there may be blood present which could expose you to bloodborne pathogens. These infectious microorganisms include Hepatitis B and C, and HIV which can survive on surfaces for a very long time. The scene must be cleaned and contaminated to eliminate these pathogens. 

Other biohazards which may be present include bodily fluids, weapons, and drug paraphernalia. To protect yourself against these harms, full personal protective equipment (PPE) is required, and specialist cleaning and disposal processes must be followed.

If someone passed away at the scene and the body began to decompose, there might also be insects and pests which are harmful to be exposed to. Professional cleaners will have the training to provide pest control services if they are required. 

Should you attempt to clean the area yourself, you might not remove all the biohazards and could put people's health at risk in the future. Crime scene cleaners will be able to provide the deep clean required to make the affected area safe again. 

What is the crime scene clean up process?

First, biohazards are removed. This includes blood and other bodily fluids, human and animal waste, weapons and sharps, and dangerous chemicals. The scene will then be decontaminated to eradicate invisible threats like harmful pathogens that pose serious health risks if left unchecked.

Trauma cleaners use top-notch industry-grade cleaning chemicals and disinfectants. Their aim is not merely to wipe away visible stains; it's about annihilating microscopic organisms present within bodily fluids such as blood. These professionals will also run tests to ensure the area is safe again. 

They will finish up by removing stains, clearing debris, and dealing with lingering odours. This stage restores the scene to how it looked before the crime occurred. Finally, they will remove and dispose of the hazardous waste according to local regulations. You can find out more about what is involved in crime scene clean up in this blog. 

What should you do if a crime happens on your property?

In the immediate aftermath of a crime, don't touch anything in the crime scene and leave it unless someone requires medical assistance. Then, contact the police who will cordon off the scene and investigate. 

Don't enter the scene until the police have given you permission to do so. Next, get in touch with professional crime scene cleaners to have the scene restored to how it was before. 

Your insurance policy might cover some or all of the costs related to crime scene clean up services. Reviewing your policy carefully is key here as coverage details can vary greatly between providers.

Frequently asked questions

Who pays to clean up after a crime scene?

The property owner is typically responsible for the clean up costs although some insurance policies may cover these expenses.

Is there such a thing as a crime scene cleaner in the UK?

Yes, professional companies specializing in trauma and crime scene cleaning operate throughout the UK. 

Do the police clean up?

No, law enforcement agencies are not responsible for cleaning up. This task falls on either the property owner or hired professionals.

What qualifications do I need to be a crime scene cleaner?

You will require training in bio-hazardous waste management and potentially certification from organisations like The National Academy of Crime Scene Cleaners (NACSC). You can find out more about how to become a crime scene cleaner in this blog

Get in touch

Our trauma cleaners are fully qualified to clean up and remove hazardous waste, as well as deal with such situations sensitively. We also offer a range of other trauma cleaning services including unattended death cleaning services and road traffic accident clean up services. 

Contact our team today on 0208 066 0360 or send your details to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to find out more about our crime scene cleaning services

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