Gin distilleries manufacture hand sanitiser for MPS

Gin distilleries and breweries across the capital are switching their production lines to manufacture hand sanitiser for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to help reduce the risk to officers of contracting Covid-19 while on duty.

Mar 31, 2020
By Tony Thompson

Panic buying by the public has left hand sanitiser in short supply across the country, but it is a “critical” item for MPS officers and staff, particularly those on the front line patrolling the streets of London, dealing with prisoners in custody and attending crime scenes.

The MPS said realising that existing supplies would not be sufficient to meet demand, its Commercial Services department looked for alternatives and identified the alcohol industry as a possible source, leading to talks with a number of distilleries and breweries.

These included Portobello Road Gin, 58 Gin Ltd and the Copper Rivet Distillery. All the analysis, research and exploratory discussions were carried out in under 72 hours by two placement students, working alongside the Commercial Services department.

After ensuring health and safety guidelines were met, and reaching an agreement with relevant government bodies, the proposal was given the green light. Within one week of starting discussions, orders were placed.

Suppliers are producing and selling the hand sanitisers using formulation guidance provided by the World Health Organisation.

The MPS expects to receive its first delivery of the hand sanitisers at the start of April. Other distilleries approached by the MPS are now in conversation with other forces and public bodies.

And 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.

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.”

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