Riot van pimped to engage youth

PUBLISHED: 13:55 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:37 25 August 2010

TEENAGERS and authority figures have not sat comfortably together since Mick Jagger praised anarchy as our only glimmer of hope.

TEENAGERS and authority figures have not sat comfortably together since Mick Jagger praised anarchy as our only glimmer of hope.

Yet with the delusion of an elderly relative trying to bond with a teenage grandson by following them to the skate park, the establishment never ceases to try and get groovy.

The latest powerhouse to get down with the kids is the Metropolitan Police Service - but Times Diary wonders if this time they've cracked it.

With as yet unseen results, the force allowed a Mercedes Sprinter riot van to be overhauled by MTV's Pimp My Ride television show.

The show typically takes clapped out cars and overhauls them - a place where souped-up accessories are the driver and bling their destination.

Although the vehicle lacks some of the usual obscene and beautifully over the top features, it does have a 40ins plasma television, bull bars, X-Box and a basketball hoop.

Gone are the flashing lights and riot-cage of oppression, and the van is even due to visit Greenwich and Bexley as it makes a tour of seven boroughs.

Supt John Sutherland told reporters that creating a mobile centre for young people made perfect sense.

He said: "The fact this particular project has been developed by MTV's Pimp My Ride team is a major boost to its profile amongst those we are trying so hard to reach."

Superintendent Matt Bell said: "I've always been a fan of taking something slightly tired, tarnished and worn out and breathing new life into it."

...That's the cars, not his officers he's talking about.

He added: "Your police in Bromley have been looking for ways to better engage with young people in a slightly more practical and lasting way than pimping an old police carrier - innovative though it is.

"Through the introduction of local neighbourhood youth panels, closer working with schools, neighbourhood and borough-wide events aimed at young people and involving young people more closely in policing generally.

"I hope even Xzibit when he looks at Bromley would deliver the line 'you've been pimped'."

To fans of the show, this should be translated to: "Bo! The 5-0 is phat, straight up."

But we think they're getting the message.

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