Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Former police van gets 'pimped'

Police van transformed into mobile youth club
The former police riot van houses a fully fitted recording studio

A Metropolitan Police van has been fitted with a plasma TV, stereo, games console and recording studio to become a meeting place for young people.

It will be used in the London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Islington.

The Mercedes Sprinter riot van was transformed by fitters from MTV's Pimp My Ride television show.

The van, which was transformed for the charity XLP, aims to reach out to young people affected by gun and knife crime.

'Safer place'

The van's bull bars, protective windscreen cage and blue flashing lights have been replaced with carbon fibre and white leather fittings.

The side-door swings up to reveal a 40-inch plasma screen and Xbox with wireless controllers.

A full-size basketball hoop lies flat on the roof and extends by remote-control from the rear of the R-registered van, which has been resprayed.

Supt John Sutherland said not all areas have activities for young people so a mobile youth club made "perfect sense".

He said: "The Met Police are committed to doing whatever it takes to make London a safer place for young people.

"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."


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