Jermaine Jenas warns a repeat of 2011 riots is on the brink if police don’t address racism with young black men

JERMAINE Jenas has warned a repeat of the 2011 riots is on the brink if the police don’t address racism with young black men. 

Ahead of his new Channel 4 documentary The Truth About Police Stop and Search, the former footballer told The Sun tensions are reaching tipping point between communities and authorities.

He said: “Pretty much every 11 years there is a clash between the police and the local community.

“Look at where we are with stop and search – nothing's changed, if anything it's got worse, so that's a problem.”

Thousands of people across the country rioted in 2011 in reaction to the death of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London, who was shot by police.

In his new Channel 4 documentary, the Match of the Day pundit speaks to 40 black men and teenagers who have recorded their experiences of stop and search across England. 

It shows police appearing to be heavy handed with them, but the accused insist the authorities have a role to play in society and are doing their job.

Jermaine, 38, said: “A lot of them felt there is still a need for stop and search.

"A lot of it changed my mind and I came out of it thinking, 'OK there is a place for this,' the police have a job to do and they are trying to reduce crime on the streets but they're doing it in an ineffective way, in my opinion, which could be done much better and there needs to be some things implemented.

"And that's not to say, 'Oh well OK well if you're young and black you're nine times more likely to get stopped on the streets, therefore let's stop more white people'. 

“No, no, that's not the answer, the answer is about more intelligence into these stops and better communication.”

He speaks about his own experiences of being stopped by police saying it happened to him ten times including as a child growing up in Nottingham and as a Tottenham Hotspur player.

Jermaine said: “When I was young I was helpless. 

“It was just me and my mate, just walking around on the street, a car pulls up, police officer jumps out, eventually I've got my coat open and they're going through my jacket pockets.

“It never happened to me before. I was really young. 

“I wasn't that far from my house I was just like, 'Woah what is going on'. 

“I went back home to my dad, I was scared because my dad was keeping me on the straight and narrow, and he was very much like, 'You get into trouble with the police you're not going to be a professional footballer’.”

Jermaine told how he and fellow Spurs players including Ledley King and Aaron Lennon would speak about their experiences.

He spoke about one incident when an officer peeled off the film from his car’s window.

The One Show host said: “When I was at Tottenham, and I had a police officer stop me saying my windows were too dark, I was like, 'OK I'll get it sorted'. 

“He went, 'No, no, it's fine'. And he just peeled it off, there and then. I was like, 'Great'. 

“He just left me with the black hanging off my car. He'd obviously got p***ed off that I was young and successful or whatever. 

“But those times, I don't know it didn't affect me as much as I got older just purely and simply because I think there's a confidence level that I had as a young professional footballer playing Premier League football and for England, you're in a different place there. 

“Your confidence is through the roof. You feel pretty untouchable anyway. That's not to say it's any better, it's just a different feeling. 

“When I was at Tottenham, there were times when I would be stopped twice in a week and then it gets frustrating because it's like, 'I only got stopped the other day, why are you stopping me now? What have I done?'. and it's like, 'Oh no it's just a routine check up on the vehicle'. 

“I was like, 'Oh what cause I've got a black Range Rover now you're stopping me? What is going on?'. That gave me a little tiny insight of what it would be like and how frustrating it is when you get your licence looked at on a daily basis by the police.”

The Truth About Police Stop and Search, Monday 31st May, 10pm, Channel 4.

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