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DAMAGE MANAGEMENT


CSI:Reality


Jeff Nelson, Director of London Safety Clean, reveals the not-so-glamorous side of crime scene clean-ups, and the disturbing reality of public perception.


Crime scene investigation has piqued the interest of British and American cinema audiences, but too many people are believing the glamorisation of forensics on our television screens. Over 11 million viewers tuned in to the third season of British crime drama series Sherlock, and American series CSI has been named the most watched TV show in the world. However, these stylised representations of crime scenes are skewing people’s perceptions of reality, not just of crime scene investigation, but also crime scene cleaning.


Having worked on biohazard clean- ups for many years, I’ve seen it all and it’s not pretty. Crime scene cleaning involves getting hands-on with all kinds of waste. That means blood, other bodily fl uids, and sometimes, after a particularly violent death, decomposing body parts. Seeing a crime scene made up of fake blood and a white painted body


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on the TV doesn’t even come close to the real deal; walking into a clean-up operation like that requires a strong stomach and a strong mind.


All bodily fl uids are biohazards, which means they pose a risk of infection and need professional cleaners with the right equipment for the job. Any mistakes in a sensitive and specialist clean-up operation like those on crime scenes can lead to not only health risks, but also further damage to property. Bloodstains, for instance, can be a real problem. When blood soaks through the carpet, the stains can recur in the fl oorboards if they’re not properly cleaned. Not only is this unpleasant, but bloodstains on the fl oorboards or walls can cause tenants to become unwell.


A crime-scene clean-up crew is responsible for restoring a location to the condition that it was in before the incident. This is especially important when a violent crime takes place in the home, and the


surviving family members choose to continue living there. If any signs of the incident remain, it can be a horrible reminder of something that the family would rather be forgotten. In that sense, there is a sensitive and emotional side to the job that is often underestimated. The crime-scene clean-up crew are a real blessing for families who fi nd themselves in an unfortunate and emotionally traumatic situation.


The reality of crime scene cleaning is nothing like in the movies. The crime scenes on our television sets and in the cinema are a great source of entertainment for our Friday nights, but they’re not realistic portrayals of the real goings on at crime scenes. Being a crime scene cleaner isn’t glamorous – it’s a grisly, meticulous business.


www.londonsafetyclean.co.uk


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


Photo By theNerdPatrol via StockPholio.com


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