Portsmouth velodrome cycle race crash police officer dies

Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth Richard Phillips-Schofield won a number of national and international cycling awards

A police officer has died following a crash during a cycle race in Portsmouth.

Richard Phillips-Schofield, 33, was competing at the Mountbatten Centre velodrome on Sunday when he sustained chest and head injuries in a collision.

He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital but died earlier, a force spokesman said.

Hampshire Constabulary force flags have been lowered to half-mast at Winchester headquarters and at Netley.

PC Phillips-Schofield was a response officer serving at Bitterne, and was previously stationed at Portswood.

'Gold medal'

Supt James Fulton, area commander for Southampton, said: "Richard was an exceptional officer. He worked in the city for all of his ten years service, and was universally popular - a first class officer, thief taker, colleague and friend.

"The whole force shares the pain of his family and friends, and at this time we remember Rich as a man who inspired so many and delivered so much."

Chief Constable Andy Marsh competed with PC Phillips-Schofield at the World Police & Fire Games in 2013.

He said: "I was proud to serve with Richard, and had the privilege of being one of the first of his colleagues to congratulate him on his gold medal when we competed together in Belfast last year.

"His service in the police was no less impressive - a first class officer, team player and friend to so many.

"Richard's loss will have a huge impact on friends and colleagues across the service, not only in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight but across the UK."

PC Phillips-Schofield was unmarried.

A force spokesman said he started competitive cycling at the Light Hall School in Solihull and represented the force at the highest level, winning national and international awards.

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