Former March police officer on child sex charges was scout leader, RAF firefighter and proactive community member

PC Phil Richardson (pictured) is in jail tonight awaiting sentencing next month on child sex charges

PC Phil Richardson (pictured) is in jail tonight awaiting sentencing next month on child sex charges. The former licensing officer for Fenland – and a former scout leader - has admitted indecent image offences at court. Picture: Terry Harris - Credit: Terry Harris

A disgraced March police officer - who is behind bars awaiting sentencing on child sex charges - had been a scout leader in the town for 27 years.

Phil Richardson was sacked from Cambridgeshire Police in July this year.

The 49-year-old, who has admitted indecent image offences, was a notable figure in community life for many years.

He was scout leader of 2nd March Saxons since 1992, alongside his wife, with 10 cub scouts even walking down the aisle on their wedding day.

Speaking at the time, he said: "Some of the things were my ideas and because I have been involved in scouting since 1992 as an adult I wanted it to be part of our special day."

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Previously known as Phil Nicholls, he changed his name to Phil Richardson on his 40th birthday in 2010 - the same day as the wedding.

He had served as a firefighter for the Royal Air Force (RAF) for 12 years, leaving in 2003 to join the police the following year.

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He was outspoken of his love for his job, as a Cambs Times article in 2011 stated that he "loved" locking criminals up and wanted March to be a "dangerous place" for them.

He wrote on an internet discussion page at the time: "If you hear a suspicious thump or bang at night think twice what it may be.

"Kids smacking someone's car? Was it a car window being smashed?

"Call these in - we will wherever possible send an available officer to the area."

Referring to his stern profile picture used at the time, Richardson added: "Let's make March a dangerous place for the criminals!

"I love locking them up, the more I can get off the streets the better the chances of me having a smiley photo!"

He warned the public to keep their "eyes and ears open" and to "take a look out of the windows before going to bed".

Richardson was also a proactive member of the March Neighbourhood Forum and regularly used community website ShapeYourPlace to post a "heads up" about any increase in incidents of theft and criminal damage.

In 2014, he called on the public to report poor driving - even if the offender was behind the wheel of a police car.

He was also known as licensing officer for Fenland, tackling the review of the Coachmakers Arms licence in 2016.

On his professional profile on LinkedIn, it states that as his time as a scout leader he was 'nights away assessor' for seven years, saying he was aware of "legal and moral issues surrounding activities".

In his statement about his profession as a police officer, he said: "My current main area of business is enforcement of the alcohol licensing acts and where necessary, and where negotiations have failed, I will deal with problems and present evidence to the relevant committees in order to safeguard the public."

His home location on LinkedIn is set as Doncaster.

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