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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Cumbrian crime scene investigator part of national disaster force

A crime scene investigator from Cumbria police could be called upon at a moment’s notice to help identify bodies if a national disaster takes place.

Ian McCrone photo
Ian McCrone

Ian McCrone, from Carlisle, is trained to work with Disaster Victim Identification, a team of British nationals set up after the London bombings.

He said: “The setting up of DVI stemmed from the 7/7 bombings when some of the families were concerned that parts of their relatives’ bodies may be mixed in with the remains of the bomber.

“It is unpleasant but some people want to know exactly where and how their relatives died.

“In attacks like the Lockerbie disaster, which we hope would never happen again, DVI workers would sift through the remains of the plane wreckage and try to repatriate the bodies to their family.

“It is a very rewarding job and this is where the support network comes into its own.”

Members of the DVI team could be deployed at short notice if help is needed overseas such as the Bali bombings, the tsunami, or the earthquakes in New Zealand or Japan.

He trained to do the DVI work on a nine-week course in Durham.

Ian, a civilian worker with the police, has to be prepared for this kind of work and has to don appropriate clothing, including suits and masks in the event of a chemical, biological or radioactive attack.

Cumbria’s former Assistant Chief Constable, Graham Sunderland, was the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) Lead for Disaster Victim Identification, and in July 2007 he was the DVI adviser at the London bombings.

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