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Professional Advice on Procedural Protocol


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Good afternoon to everyone,

First off, this is my very first time posting here and I'm relatively unexperienced, so please forgive me if I picked the wrong category.

I've been in correspondence about the follwoing matter with both the NCA and local police departments in the London Metropolitan area. Since neither have been able to help me thus far, I thought I'd consult the community more directly.

I am a London-educated filmmaker currently working on what will be my next narrative endeavour. The piece is goint to be set in the UK and centered around a suicide victim found dead in a Hotel room under no suspicious circumstances.
I am currently looking for an expert (perhaps a retired officer) who would be able and willing to provide me with insights on how police would operate in such scenario.
- What exactly would happen right after the presence of a body has been reported?
- How many officers would be dispatched for a single body?
- How long would the investigation protract? And how long would the scene have to remain uncontaminated for following the removal of the body?
These are just a few examples of things I would ideally like to get clarification about.
If you think you could personally help me with this or have someone in mind who you would recommend, please feel free to contact me in private to discuss things further: [email protected].
If not, any advice on how to find such a person  would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much for your time and patience, I wish you a lovely continuation of your day.
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It would depend on who found the body or reported concerns for the person.  A typical scenario for us is a concern for welfare with a neighbour or friend calling police to say that they haven't seen or heard from such and such for x amount of time.  We'd send 1 or 2 PC's who'd look at the property, do house to house, see if they can smell anything (death is quite a distinctive aroma) or see flies at the window, then force entry.   Alternatives include the ambulance service finding a deceased person or relatives letting themselves in and finding a body.  

Local guidelines vary as someone has to officially say that the person is deceased so that normally means calling the force Dr then getting coroners removals in to move the body.  The body will however have to be thoroughly searched prior to it being moved as its a bit embarrassing if the coroner finds something the police should have found.  ID also needs to be established as soon as possible.

Most investigations are very short and are handled by the response PCs who first attended, however if there are unexplained or suspicious  circumstances DCs may take over to do a full coroners file in preparation for an inquest.  The post mortem results sometimes determine the length of the investigation because if there is a clear and non suspicious cause of death no investigation will be required.

Someone has to stay in the property long enough for the Dr and coroners removal to arrive and do their jobs, but the house or room will also need searching for valuables, drugs (prescription and illegal), ID and personal info, with all those items being seized either for safe keeping or to assist with the investigation.  

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Hi there Ado,

thank you very much for your reply.

In this specific case, the body would be found by a Hotel staff member, who would then notify the authorities.

From this point onwards, to my understanding,  either one or two officers would be dispatched to the location to search the scene for evidence of foul play, before the cornoner can get there and officialize the man's death (as it would be emberrassing if he found something the police should have).

Am I with you so far? All of this was very helpful, thank you so much for taking the time to lay it all out.

I have a vey specific example that I'd like to get clarification on. Would you be willing to provide me with an email address or contact me on the one I included in my original post? That way I'd be able to send you all the content I wasn't able to include here.

Thank you once again for your willingness to help out, means the world.







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