We lay the blame for this squarely at the suede Timb'd feet of rapper Xzibit - after all, it was his (admittedly enjoyable) television show that spawned the use of "pimp" as an adjective to describe gaudy accoutrements for anything from a Fiat Punto to a fruit pastille.
Ever happy to latch onto a trend some years after the shark has been jumped (we half expect them to start hollering "WASSSSUP" anytime soon), the Metropolitan Police have kitted out, or (sigh) "pimped", one of their vans with a plasma TV, stereo, games machine and recording studio. The reason? Nope, officers aren't hoping to kick back with the DVD box set of Life On Mars and reminisce about the good old days: the idea is to create a 'meeting place' for young people.
The van, a Mercedes Sprinter riot van, was transformed by the charity XLP, which aims to foster understanding among young people and the police, and help those who've been affected by gun and knife crime. It's set to be deployed in areas of the Capital that lack local resources for youngsters. Expect to see it rolling down the streets in Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Bexley, Greenwich and Islington before too long.
Image by Oliver Gili