A former ruby player starts work as Greenwich police's new borough commander this month, promising to work with communities to cut crime.

Her predecessor Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Wood is leaving the borough after almost five years to be the top cop at Lambeth.

Mr Wood said: "It has been a real honour and privilege to serve Royal Greenwich for almost five years as the Borough Commander. This is a borough I have a real affinity with, having served here as a Detective Constable and Detective Sergeant in the 1990s.

"This means I have spent over a third of my service in Greenwich. I would like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to all in the local community for their friendship and support during my time here."

Speaking about the highlights of his time in charge Mr Wood said: "Policing the borough during the Olympics a unique experience during my career. It was great to welcome the world to Greenwich."

Amongst his most difficult times, Mr Wood recalled the death of Fusilier Lee Rigby. He said: "It was a time of shock and dismay. The whole community pulled together and showed their compassion and strength."

Mr Wood also mentioned the Violent and Organised Crime Unit as an example of how the council and police have worked together to tackle gangs, drugs and violence.

He said: "The unit is a great success fully backed up by the council which has funded the unit from its inception. Dedicated officers work around the clock to arrest those bringing drug dealing and gang violence to our streets."

In his place comes Detective Chief Superintendent Helen Millichap, a mum-of-two and former rugby player who has served in Islington, Hackney, Newham and the Counter Terrorism unit.

She said: "I am looking forward to building upon the excellent work that Richard and the team here at Greenwich have been doing. I am excited to join the borough and it is a privilege to serve in Royal Greenwich.

"There's been a fantastic reduction in crime in Greenwich and I want our officers to continue to work with you and your communities to make even more impact on crime, to solve local problems and to deliver a high quality of service to you."