The police and other authorities sometimes seal the door to a crime scene or similar with an adhesive seal. Here is an example from Germany, where it is called a "Verschlusssiegel", literally a 'closing seal':

Verschlusssiegel in Berlin

What is this called in English? Either officially (the technical term) or colloquially.


It looks like most merchants call it "barricade tape". The idea of barricading, "preventing or delaying movement," fits in line with the German root word, verschluss, which means to lock, stop, or fasten.

  • 1
    If I'm not mistaken, what you refer to is not a seal as that shown in my question, but a tape. See google.com/search?q=police+tape – user310556 Jul 30 '18 at 18:28
  • Yes, I think Andrew's answer about seal is a term for that specific seal. But, a "seal" does not convey the full sense of the german term. Maybe barricade seal? lol – tidbertum Jul 30 '18 at 20:17

Believe it or not, it's actually called a seal.

The point of a seal is to close something and provide evidence that it's been subsequently opened. This happens with wax seals, with gummed envelopes, and it's the same here. Either the seal is torn, or layers within it separate so there is evidence that it was once stuck to the doorframe.

Here's an advertising image from a manufacturer (Biffar) showing it's what they call them:

Screenshot via Google image search

Note that different seals might be identified differently. This one is labelled "Crime scene" so they promote it as "Crime Scene Seal". However premises might be sealed for any purpose, including (for example) by executors if the property is part of someone's estate after their death. The generic name is simply seal.

  • 1
    The "seal" by Biffar is not a seal they sell to police or other authorities, but an advertising campaign. If you read the text on the image you have provided, it says that for this campaign, which was designed by Ogilvy & Mather, "[a]dhesive stickers, strikingly similar to police crime scene seals, were being placed on house and apartment entrance doors in affluent neighborhoods" to "make people go through the experience of what it's like not to have a safe front door" to convince house and apartment owners "of the benefits of the especially safe front doors made by Biffar". – user310556 Jul 30 '18 at 18:35
  • 1
    Here's a link to a larger image with legible text: adeevee.com/aimages/200711/03/… – user310556 Jul 30 '18 at 18:37
  • 1
    If I look at real seals of this type (see examples in my answer), I don't quite believe that those authorities buy them from some manufacturer. They look printed by the police on colored adesive paper. – user310556 Jul 30 '18 at 18:39
  • 1
    I understand that it's called a "seal". But what kind of seal? A garage door is a door, sure, but more specifically it's a "garage door". A "seal on the door" could be a sign with the seal (= emblem) of the agency residing within, but a "coroner's seal on the door" is unmistakeable. – user310556 Jul 30 '18 at 18:43
  • 1
    I have, and I know what a seal is. I just don't believe the term for what I mean is "seal" – which is why searching for "seal" doesn't turn up any related results (while "coroner's seal" does). – user310556 Jul 30 '18 at 18:55

It seems as if terminology varies.

In L.A. the seal for a crime scene is called a "coroner's seal", though a "public administrator seal" also exists:

enter image description here

In N.Y. it is a "seal for door of d.o.a. premises":

enter image description here

I was unable to find anything like these seals for the UK. Maybe they don't exist there?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy