Gin distilleries and breweries are offering their services to ensure the Metropolitan Police’s supply of hand sanitiser does not dry up.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK has led to an increased demand across the country for hygiene products such as hand sanitiser, with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) among those feeling the squeeze.
Hand sanitiser is a crucial item for officers and staff in the MPS, especially those on the frontline who are patrolling the streets of London, dealing with prisoners in custody and attending crime scenes.
Planning ahead to ensure the MPS continues to have a sufficient supply of hand sanitiser, staff in the force’s Commercial Services department started to pursue alternative sources for the product.
Staff quickly identified the alcohol industry as being an alternative source for the provision of hand sanitisers.
The MPS immediately began talks with a range of gin distilleries and breweries, several being based in London, with many offering to supply hand sanitiser to the force.
After ensuring health and safety guidelines were met, and reaching an agreement with different Government bodies, the proposal was given the green light. All potential suppliers are producing and selling the hand sanitisers using the formulation provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), allowing the product to be made in a timely manner.
All of the analysis, research and exploratory discussions were carried out in under 72 hours by two placement students, under tutelage from leaders in Commercial Services. Within one week of starting discussions, the orders were placed.
Distilleries and breweries helping the MPS are Portobello Road Gin (Notting Hill), 58 Gin Ltd (Haggerston) and Copper Rivet Distillery (Chatham). Other distilleries approached by the MPS are now in conversation with other forces and public bodies.
As an added bonus, brewing company Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, is donating 6,000 litres of hand sanitiser free of charge to the MPS to help support its frontline officers and staff.
The MPS expects to receive its first delivery of the hand sanitisers at the start of April.
Director of Commercial Services Mark Roberts said: “Hand sanitiser is an essential item for our officers and staff, especially those on the frontline. So I am extremely grateful to all of the suppliers who have agreed to work with us and provide us with this vital commodity, which will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately save lives.
“I’d also like to say a special thank you to Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, which is very kindly going to donate 6,000 litres of this critical product to us.
“It shows the importance and necessity of everyone working together in these challenging times.”