The NSW Police Force, Forensic Services Group utilises specialist police officers or other civilian crime scene examiners to attend crime scenes. At crime scenes where fingerprint examinations are undertaken there will often be fingerprint powder residue left at the scene.

The NSW Police Force is not responsible for the cleaning of this residue but can provide information as to how the residue can be cleaned and removed. The crime scene examiner may give you a card with the following information on how to remove fingerprint powder.

NSW Police Force Forensic Services Group

  • Your premises have been examined for fingerprints by the use of white and black powders.
  • These powders may be removed from glass, tiles, plastic and painted surfaces etc, first by wiping excess powder with a dry cloth and then using an ammonia based cleaning agent. Cleaning agents which are ammonia based at the date of preparation of this ‘How to clean’ information are ‘Jiff Once Over’, ‘Spray & Wipe’, ‘Nifti” etc. Prior to using any such cleaning agents, a check should be made to ensure that the cleaning agent is still ammonia based. Please read and follow the directions for use before using any ammonia based cleaning agent.
  • Please note that ammonia based cleaning agents should not be used on varnished/ polished furniture. This is not an exhaustive list of the surfaces on which ammonia based cleaning agents should not be used and the directions for use should be read and followed to ensure it is safe to use the cleaning agent on a particular surface.
  • If you notice fingerprint powder on carpet, it should be firstly dry vacuumed and then cleaned with a carpet cleaning agent.

The use of chemical enhancement techniques to locate or enhance trace biological evidence at crime scenes is also common. Cleaning of the residues left by these chemicals at crime scenes is the responsibility of the NSW Police Force, Crime Scene Service Branch (CSSB). Cleaning requires specialist techniques usually sourced from private contractors, who are required to stringently adhere to Work, Health & Safety guidelines.

It is the responsibility of the user/owner/relatives/ occupiers of the premises and/or vehicles to clean up biologically contaminated crime scenes such as suicides, deceased persons, shootings and decomposed bodies where no chemical enhancement techniques have been used by NSW Police Force officers.

Where any doubt exists about who is responsible for cleaning a crime scene ask the officer in charge of the investigation to contact the CSSB Referral Officer. The Victims Rights and Support Act 2013 governs the circumstances under which financial assistance may be available to aid with crime scene clean-up.

Further information and assistance can be obtained from: Victims Access Line (VAL) – 1800 633 063 Please visit Victim Services for further information