Who Cleans Crime Scenes In The UK?

Tuesday 8th September 2020

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Crime scene tape

Here at ICE Cleaning, we’re leading the way for crime scene cleaning in the UK. There’s no doubt that trauma and crime scene clean-up‘s are some of the most challenging scenes we face, yet we know that our services are vital in restoring safety to the site. If you require emergency crime scene cleaning, do not hesitate to get in touch on 0333 577 5805. With teams situated in a variety of locations across the country, we can reach you in just 60 minutes.

Sadly, suicides, undetected deaths and murders are scenes we deal with on a regular basis. For the families of the deceased, our cleaning services play a huge role in the event. For most, cleaning up after the death of a loved one is an incredibly difficult task, full of emotion and confusion. Most are not equipped to take on such a task, meaning they turn to professional crime scene cleaners for assistance. However, a certain level of delicacy and sympathy must be acknowledged.

Violent crimes are likely to arise in busy areas, such as on public transport or areas of leisure. For members of the public who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and actually witness an incident, life may never be the same again. For this reason, it’s important to establish with the property owner whether they’re happy for the scene to return to its original state. Some may request that the site be given a new look following the incident in order to avoid triggering those distressed by the event.

Did you know that the emergency services are not responsible for the clean-up of a crime scene? Despite the common misconception, crime scene investigators and law enforcement officers do not possess the knowledge or equipment to deal with the matter. It may surprise you to learn that it is the property owner’s responsibility to clean the scene of a crime, unless the incident took place on council property. Homeowners, landlords and business owners are obligated to organise and cover the costs of all forensic cleaning on their land. Crime scene cleaners, also referred to as forensic cleaners or bioremediation specialists, are responsible for sanitising and decontaminating the crime scene after an event has taken place. Some insurance policies cover trauma or crime scene cleaning, but most do not.

The cleaning process should commence as soon as possible to minimise the risk of cross-contamination, keep businesses going and minimise emotional distress for family members and friends. However, crime scene cleaning services cannot begin until police and investigators have stated have finished inspecting the area. A member of the police force must provide written confirmation before the cleaning process can commence.

Biohazard crime scene clean-up

Crime scene cleaning usually takes place as soon as forensic investigators have completed their assessment. One of the most important tasks for crime scene cleaners is handling potential biohazards, such as bodily fluids or blood. In order to do so safely, all health and safety procedures must be acknowledged to protect members of the public from hidden dangers.

Forensics technician with clipboard

Who cleans up blood at a crime scene?

Whilst many believe you can simply wipe the blood and the dangers will disappear, this is not the case. Even the strongest commercial detergents cannot rid such harmful bloodborne pathogens. Only the latest cleaning technology and techniques will prove successful in removing all traces of blood and creating a safe environment for the public.

There are a variety of bloodborne pathogens that can live for extended amounts of time outside of the body:

  • Hepatitis C: 4 days
  • MRSA: several months 
  • HIV: 4 weeks
  • Hepatitis B: 7 days

Timing is everything. Materials may incur permanent stains or damage if all traces of blood are not removed within a specific period of time. Porous materials such as rugs, carpets, curtains, tiles, wood, drywall and wallpaper will not only discolour but may become structurally weak, accelerating the deterioration process. If stains become permanent, items may have to be discarded due to health risks. Biohazards, such as bloodborne pathogens, should not be treated lightly; they have the potential to cause long-term health consequences.

When our experienced technicians attend a crime scene, they will evaluate the area and record any items they believe may have to be thrown away. A more in-depth analysis of the items will take place once they have been removed from the affected site. 

Why is a professional clean-up important?

Our technicians take extra precaution with disinfection methods, especially if there is a high risk of exposure to biological materials, in order to rid the area of infectious diseases.

  • Broad-spectrum disinfectant products are used to disinfect biological and microbial pathogens, including but not limited to: MERSA, HIV, HCV HBV, and VRE
  • For maximum results, we remove all blood before applying disinfectant
  • We let the disinfectant soak on surfaces for 30 seconds for HIV-1 and 10 full minutes for hepatitis

Here at ICE Cleaning, we’re recognised as one of the UK’s leading crime scene cleaning companies. With a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field, we are the first choice for businesses, domestic clients and government authorities across the UK.

Blood borne pathogens taint human health, even minor blood stains are harmful. It is estimated that 1 out of every 24 people are plagued with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or the HIV virus at any given time. When an individual with an infection of this type dies, the pathogens for these diseases continue to survive.

The dangers of cleaning a crime scene yourself

Taking on the cleaning process yourself may initially seem like the best option. However, unless you have the knowledge and professional equipment required to take on this kind of job, you risk cross-contamination.

Crime scenes, whether outside or inside, posses highly infectious pathogens that are incredibly harmful, sometimes fatal. The risk of infection is not always visible. 

Call the experts

Special care and attention must be taken to protect everyone involved. A professional cleaning company, such as ICE Cleaning, will provide you with the peace of mind that you and your loved ones are no longer at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

The nature of the situation often means that it can be a difficult time for family and friends. Therefore, a great deal of sensitivity, discretion and delicacy is required. We aim to make the cleaning process as stress-free and straightforward as possible. Simply find a time that suits you and we will take care of the rest. Upon completion, we will provide you with a thorough report documenting our findings at the scene, along with a certificate of hygiene.

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Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

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We place best practise, professional expertise and health and safety at the core of our business. We’re fully compliant with all legal obligations. You can view a list of our accreditations below, or visit our Health & Safety page for more information.

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