A NEW Cross policing team has won the Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Year award for its crackdown on crime after scoring the most public votes.

The winning team – who use innovative tactics to catch criminals such as disguising themselves as homeless people – were congratulated at the Commissioner’s Excellence in Total Policing Awards on Sunday.

New Cross PCSO Michelle Narciso also bagged an Excellence Award for her work building trust between the police and the Chinese community in New Cross and Deptford.

Lewisham Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Russell Nyman said: "I am so proud of New Cross Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

"The work they have carried out this year is exceptional and is an excellent example of what our communities in Lewisham should expect us to deliver every day.

"There is great work taking place in Lewisham and New Cross Safer Neighbourhoods Team demonstrates that, I am pleased for the team and indeed the borough."

New Cross Safer Neighbourhoods Team received nominations in four categories: Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Year, PCSO of the Year, Leadership of the Year and Police Officer of the Year.