Gin firms, Budweiser help out London police with hand sanitiser

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A police officer talks to people at Greenwich Park as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

London’s Metropolitan Police are in the pink after securing a supply of hand sanitiser from the city’s gin distilleries, alongside Budweiser, to help keep their “bobbies on the beat” safe.

Hand sanitiser, whose main ingredient is alcohol, is in short supply as Britons stock up on it to avoid coronavirus, so the police turned to the capital’s breweries and distilleries for help.

Portobello Road Gin, in Notting Hill, 58 Gin Ltd, based in Haggerston, east London, and Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, in nearby Kent, stepped up to the challenge to make a hand sanitiser using a formula from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Metropolitan Police – the biggest in Britain with more than 31,500 officers – will now receive their first deliveries at the start of April, while brewer Budweiser has also agreed to donate 6,000 litres of hand sanitiser to the police.

“Hand sanitiser is an essential item for our officers and staff, especially those on the frontline,” said Mark Roberts, the police’s director of commercial services. “So I am extremely grateful to all of the suppliers who have agreed to work with us and provide us with this vital commodity.”

Small gin distilleries across Britain have started producing hand sanitiser to help vulnerable people protect themselves from coronavirus amid a national shortage.

Distilleries can make sanitisers by mixing very pure alcohol with glycerol and hydrogen peroxide, in line with the WHO-recommended formula.