HAMPSHIRE’S former police chief has been commissioned by the Government to review the stop and search training of police officers.

Alex Marshall, who last year stepped down as the county’s chief constable to lead the professional standards body College of Policing, will aim to reduce the use of the controversial power blamed for causing community alienation.

Home secretary Theresa May announced the appointment today in the Houses of Commons.

As part of the review, the college has been asked to introduce an assessment of officers' fitness to use stop and search.

Also, a new scheme, dubbed 'best use of stop and search, will include a requirement for forces to introduce a stop and search complaints ''community trigger''.

This will involve police explaining to the public how stop and search powers are being used where there is a large volume of complaints.

Mrs May said changes should lead to a significant drop in overall use of stop and search and improved stop-to-arrest ratios.

She added: ''But I want to make myself absolutely clear: if the numbers do not come down, if stop and search does not become more targeted, if those stop-to-arrest ratios do not improve considerably, the Government will return with primary legislation to make these things happen.''

''Nobody wins when stop and search is misapplied. It is a waste of police time. It is unfair, especially to young black men. It is bad for public confidence in the police.''