Police are feeling the squeeze in London from the increased demand for hygiene products such as hand sanitisers during the coronavirus crisis.
So the Met Police are turning to the drinks industry for help which uses sanitisers heavily in breweries and distilleries.
At least one distillery in east London has answered the call for help from Scotland Yard.
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.
The Met’s 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.
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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 now offering to supply sanitiser fluid while making sure health and safety guidelines are met in agreement with the government.
One supplier helping out the Met is east London’s 58 Gin distillery in Haggerston. Others include west London’s Portobello Road Gin in Notting Hill and Kent’s Copper Rivet distillery in Chatham.
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.
Suppliers are using the formulation provided by the World Health Organisation, allowing the products to be made in a timely manner.
All research and discussions were carried out in under 72 hours by two placement students, under tutelage from the Met’s commercial services department.
Researchers trialled 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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