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Cleaning of a crime scene

After an act of violence in a home or business, the police may suggest that you hire a forensic cleaner.

Forensic cleaning

Forensic cleaning is the cleaning up of a crime scene. It restores a property to a safe and hygienic condition.

Forensic cleaning involves:

  • getting rid of odours, stains and fingerprint dust
  • disinfecting and sanitising the property
  • removing and safely disposing of bio-hazardous material.

It may also involve removing and safely disposing of furnishings, floorings, bedding and other items that are difficult to restore. Many hard furnishings can be treated and cleaned onsite.

Responsibility for cleaning

The property owner or tenant is usually responsible for forensic cleaning.

If you are not sure whether you are responsible, contact Legal Aid Queensland for free legal advice.

Some insurance companies cover the costs of forensic cleaning under landlord insurance.

If you are a victim of crime and your insurance company won’t pay for forensic cleaning, we may be able to help you.

Find out more about financial help for victims of crime.

Finding a forensic cleaner

The Queensland Police can give you the contact details of companies that specialise in forensic cleaning.

We can also put you in touch with forensic cleaners in your local area. To contact us you can:

Choosing a forensic cleaner

When you are choosing a forensic cleaner, there are a few factors to consider.

Type of property damage

If bio-hazardous materials are involved, such as blood and body fluids, you need to hire a forensic cleaner. If not, you may only need to hire a domestic cleaner.

Extent of property damage

Depending on the extent of property damage, it might be better to replace parts of the property, such as walls or furniture, rather than restore them.

Sentimental items

Depending on the damage, some personal items, such as photo frames and souvenirs or dressing tables and beds, might need to be destroyed. You have the right to ask for a complete list of items removed for destruction.

Alternatively, you might wish to have items of sentimental value cleaned rather than destroyed. You have the right to request this. However, additional cleaning might add to the final cost.

Expertise and experience

Forensic cleaning is a specialised service charged at an hourly rate. Check that the service provider you hire is trained and experienced in forensic cleaning.

Cost

Forensic cleaning can be a lot more expensive than domestic cleaning. Different companies charge different rates. Ask for a list of fees and an idea of how long the job will take to complete. Also, set a maximum budget for what you are willing to pay.

Location

Hire someone close to where you live to keep the cost down. Find out if there are companies that specialise in forensic cleaning in your local area.

Accessing the property

If your property has been declared a crime scene, no one (including the homeowner) may enter it.

You’ll need to discuss with the police when you can access the property and when forensic cleaning can take place.

Quick exit to

Contact Victim Assist

Complete our online information request.

Email: victimassist@justice.qld.gov.au

Phone: 1300 546 587 (business hours)

Interpreter assistance

Phone: 13 14 50

Hearing impaired assistance

TTY users phone: 13 36 77 (no additional call charges apply)

Speak and listen (speech-to-speech relay) users phone: 1300 555 727

Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service.

Last updated
15 September 2017
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