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There With You: East London distillery answers Met Police SOS call for hand sanitisers for Pcs

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:49 11 April 2020

Hand sanitiser gel going into production at Portobello Road Gin's distillery. Picture: Met Police

Hand sanitiser gel going into production at Portobello Road Gin's distillery. Picture: Met Police

MPS

Police are feeling the squeeze in London from the increased demand for hygiene products such as hand sanitisers during the coronavirus crisis.

Researching the right formula for sanitiser gel for the Met Police. Picture: Met PoliceResearching the right formula for sanitiser gel for the Met Police. Picture: Met Police

So the Met Police are turning to the drinks industry for help which uses sanitisers heavily in breweries and distilleries.

Its commercial services department has been planning ahead to make sure it has enough supply of sanitisers and is using alternative sources such as the alcohol industry. At least one east London distillery is helping out.

One industry producer which has answered the call for help from Scotland Yard is ‘58 Gin’ distillery in Haggerston, a small operation in railway arches at Acton Mews, off Kingsland Road.

The firm first experimented making hand sanitiser at a charity event last month for The Drinks Trust. The first batch consisted of 96 per cent ethanol, which is pure alcohol.

Other companies helping out include London’s Portobello Road Gin in Notting Hill and Kent’s Copper Rivet distillery in Chatham.

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The Budweiser brewing group is donating 6,000 litres of sanitiser free to the Met for its frontline officers and staff. The first delivery was expected this week.

“The hand sanitiser is essential for our officers and staff on the frontline,” the Met’s commercial services director Mark Roberts said. “Suppliers have agreed to provide us with this vital commodity, which will help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and ultimately save lives.”

He has had talks with breweries and distilleries who are offering to supply sanitiser fluid while making sure health and safety guidelines are met, in agreement with the government.

Hand sanitisers are crucial for officers on the frontline patrolling the streets and attending crime scenes or dealing with prisoners in custody.

These include officers and staff at area police stations across London such as Bethnal Green and Hackney and the CID unit at Limehouse.

Suppliers are using the formulation provided by the World Health Organisation, allowing the products to be made in a timely manner.

Researchers tried several formulas before identifying the one which has gone into production. Orders were placed within a week of the Met starting discussions.


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