A family cleaning firm faces stomach-churning crime scenes on a regular basis as they go in to clean up after the cops have left.
Leanne and Kenny Elliot run Certitude Cleaning Services Ltd and do everything a regular cleaning company would do until they get a call from police asking them to sweep up after suicides, road accidents and unattended deaths.
The couple’s specialist division Traumatic Clean Up focuses on clearing crime scenes and leaves the cleaners faced with anything from bodily fluids to bloody needles.
Leanne and Kenny, from Callington in Cornwall, decided to branch off into crime scene cleaning on their honeymoon in 2014 and get most of their work through the National Academy of Crime Scene Cleaners.
Leanne told The Herald: “We’ve got the bread and butter business, window cleaning and garden maintenance, but when you get that emergency call, literally everything stops.
“Whether you’re out for a meal, whether we’re fast asleep in bed. It doesn’t matter.
“The phone will ring at 3am. If it’s Mark from the national crime scene cleaners academy, I just pick up the phone and say yes commissioner, and he says ‘hello batwoman, I need you to dispatch Kenny Clean Up.’
“I suppose that’s what helps you get over the fact that you’re about to deal with something quite traumatic.
“It’s that sense of humor, if you keep it going from the very beginning, then you’re ok.”
The business is made up of married couple Kenny and Leanne, Leanne’s son Dan, Kenny’s son Ryan, and family friend Steve.
Leanne said: “The smell can be horrible, it can stay on the back of your throat for days.
“It can put you off certain things, you don’t eat certain things for a little while. Your imagination can run wild.
“You can see something, like a bolognese sauce, and think OK I’ll leave that for a couple of weeks.”
The pair said the strangest call they had was from London where a lady had died and been eaten by her pet rabbits, but they didn’t take the job due to distance.
Leanne added: “It is an unpleasant job but it depends on how you perceive things, not everyone can do it.
“You have to have a certain mindset to be able to do it, you have to have a certain team spirit, there’s definitely a support mechanism that we’ve got in the company.
“It can be very unpleasant but you have to make it as pleasant as you can.
“I think the way that we handle that is to say that what we do is a service to the family, so if it’s somebody that has died, then we’re supplying a service to the family that are left.
“For everything bad that happens, something good happens, when you say is the job unpleasant, yes it is very unpleasant, but for everything unpleasant that happens, we make something good happen.
“I think that is why we do it. So yes it’s unpleasant, but that is the pleasant part.”
The family pride themselves on confidentiality, meaning they are limited on jobs they can talk about – every job discussed has either been approved of certain details have been left out so it is untraceable.