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EMI Music, MTV UK and Metropolitan Police Service ‘Pimp’ to help reduce youth violence

“This project will go and meet young people on their turf and support them in making wise lifestyle choices.” (Patrick Regan, XLP)

London, August 1st 2008: In a unique partnership MTV UK, EMI Music and the Metropolitan Police Service have joined forces to transform a former police riot vehicle into a mobile youth resource. This pilot scheme will use the renovated vehicle to provide opportunities to engage and communicate with young people to help foster greater understanding and counter the increasing concern about youth violence in London.

The vehicle is being ‘pimped’ by the production team behind the successful MTV show Pimp My Ride UK and a special half hour show has been commissioned together with exclusive web-based elements that will be featured on the MTV UK’s new portal and support network for young people, www.mtvi.co.uk which launched earlier this week. Presented by Tim Westwood the Pimp My Ride special will be broadcast on MTV ONE later this year.

“I am really proud to be working with the Pimp My Ride team and MTV UK to create something that can be used by young people in the campaign to reduce violent crime,” commented Tim Westwood. “This is another positive step being taken to address this serious issue that is affecting young people across the UK.”

MTV UK will also be commissioning additional content to will look at the increasing concern about youth violence which will be broadcast through the rest of the year.

“The Pimp My Ride brand is incredibly popular with our audience and will create a high profile way to go into local communities. If we can stop even one young person from committing a violent crime then this initiative will have made a positive impact in helping to reduce violence committed against young people and act as a catalyst for positive change,” said Philip O’Ferrall, Vice President, Digital Media, MTV Networks UK & Ireland. “This initiative and the other multi-platform content that we are creating is at the heart of MTVi, MTV UK’s new online portal and support network. This online service provides young people with information on various issues that they are currently facing and uppermost in their minds at the moment is the increase of violent crime among their peers.”

As well as providing a neutral environment where young people can meet, the van will also offer a broad range of services and information that young people will be able to use around music. For example the van will feature recording technology which will offer young people the opportunity to learn the basic skills required for music production.

“All the partners were keen to ensure that the van offered more than a space to talk. It had to offer young people the opportunity get learn skills and get experience that they could apply in their everyday lives.” added O’Ferrall.

The pimped vehicle is being given to London-based charity XLP that has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police in specific areas of London. In the first year the charity will focus activity involving the vehicle in seven London boroughs – Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Islington.

“The Metropolitan police are committed to doing whatever it takes to make London a safer place for young people,” said John Sutherland, Metropolitan Police Services. “XLP are an exceptional youth charity with an excellent track record – and the ‘pimped’ van will enable them to build on their current success and extend the areas of London that they work in.”

“Expanding young people’s horizons is a task becoming ever harder in the urban context as postcode rivalry becomes more prevalent and estates more territorial. In London, rivalries which have historically been inter-borough are becoming intra-borough,” added Patrick Regan, CEO, XLP. “This project will go and meet young people on their turf and support them in making wise lifestyle choices, it will give them the opportunity to express the challenges that are going on in there communities through the performing arts. We are very excited about this project.”

The riot van will be transformed over the summer and handed over to XLP in Autumn 2008. Representatives from MTV UK, EMI Music and the Metropolitan Police Service will act as trustees and work with the charity to ensure that the van’s full potential is realised. Additional funding to ensure that the van is kept roadworthy and to cover its running expenses has been secured from the Safer London Foundation.

“We are incredibly grateful that the Safer London Foundation has recognised the value of this project and has agreed to fund the van in its pilot year. This means that the charity won’t have to worry about keeping the van on the road,” said Janie Orr, Chief Executive, EMI Music Sound Foundation. “We are also keen for XLP to work collaboratively with other youth groups in the London area and share the resources that the van has to offer as widely as possible. While it might only be one van the idea is that as many young people as possible can benefit from what it has to offer.”

For Further Information Contact:
Sao Bui-Van
Vice President, Communications
MTV Networks UK & Ireland
Telephone: 020 7284 6343
Mobile: 07736 318 063
Email: sao.buivan@mtvne.com

Notes to Editors
1) XLP stands for “The eXceL Project” (registered charity No. 1101095) and was started by Patrick Regan in Peckham, South London, in 1996 after a stabbing in a school playground. XLP now serves young people in schools and communities across 7 of the London’s poorest boroughs (Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Islington). Now, on a monthly basis, XLP operates in over 40 schools (P.H.S.E/Citizenship lessons, assemblies, lunch-time clubs, music, drama, R.E. and reading support), hosts over 65 after-school clubs in local communities and on its double-decker bus facility (computers upstairs and youth “drop-in” downstairs), and organises an Arts Showcase programme and Gunzdown events. It has a wealth of experience of organising grassroots youth projects all year round and is continually striving to introduce trail blazing youth initiatives.
XLP has 3 clear objectives. First to transform the attitudes and behaviours of young people towards their families, their peers, their teachers and others;
to raise their sense of self-worth, self-esteem and educational achievement so that they can confidently and positively contribute to society; and
and finally to encourage and empower young people to set goals, work hard to achieve them, and make wise lifestyle choices.
2) MTV Networks UK & Ireland operates 3 channel groups – Comedy, Kids and Music – and is part of MTV Networks, the largest television network in the world and a leading creator of programming and content across all media platforms, with 112 channels and 94 websites reaching more than 440 million households in 167 countries worldwide. MTVN UK’s 10 branded music channels comprise of MTV One, MTV One+1, MTV Two, MTV Base, MTV Dance, MTV Hits, MTV®, VH1, VH1 Classic and TMF. They feature the best in music alongside popular shows such as Pimp My Ride, My Super Sweet 16, The Hills, Punk’d and Cribs. MTV Network’s music channels are available on Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview. Paramount and Nickelodeon in the UK are part of the MTV Networks International portfolio of channels through joint ventures with BSKYB. In addition, MTV Networks is a pioneer in the world of digital media, winning awards for its interactive and online services, as well as being the first media company to offer made-for-mobile 3G video content. MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom.
3) About EMI Music: EMI Music is the recorded music division of EMI Group Limited, one of the world’s leading music companies. EMI Music represents artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Televisa Music, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin. Artists on EMI labels include Lily Allen, The Beatles, Coldplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, Gorillaz, Hot Chip, Norah Jones, The Kooks, Korn, Kylie Minogue, Pink Floyd, Sir Simon Rattle, Joss Stone, 30 Seconds To Mars, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams, as well as international artists such as Amaral (Spain), Camille (France), Utada Hikaru (Japan), LaFee (Germany), RBD (Mexico) and Vasco Rossi (Italy). For further information on EMI, please visit: www.emigroup.com.
4) The Metropolitan Police Service has recently confirmed that the prevention of serious youth violence is its number one priority for London and launched Operation Blunt II in recognition of this fact. For more information contact the Metropolitan Police Service Press Bureau at New Scotland Yard: 0207 230 2171

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