A 10-year-old boy who drew a picture of a “suspect” who tried to get through the gates of his school has been praised by police.

Ryan Cook was at Lemington Riverside Primary School in Newcastle last month when he was approached by a stranger.

The youngster drew a picture of him for police with the descriptions “he was bald” and “had no beared” (sic).

The man was eventually identified as an official visitor, but Ryan was praised for his “fine detective work”.

Police were alerted when Ryan told his parents what had happened.

An investigation by the school identified the man as an official visitor, but Northumbria Police nevertheless awarded Ryan with a certificate signed by the chief constable.

The youngster said: “I think my teachers will be really proud of me for telling my mum and dad about what I had seen.

“I am happy that I was able to help the police and that it wasn’t anything bad in the end.”

‘Really proud’

Ryan’s father Craig Johnson, 34, said: “We were obviously really concerned when Ryan told us about this man so we rang the police straight away as you can never be too careful.

“Fortunately it turned out to be a false alarm, but it makes me really proud that Ryan would speak up about it and that his description helped identify the person he spoke to.”

Sgt Ashley Palmer of Newcastle North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said Ryan “did absolutely the right thing”.

“He showed great maturity to pick up on what he considered to be suspicious behaviour,” he said.

Head teacher Craig Heeley added: “It’s pleasing that our safeguarding procedures work and our children are reporting any concerns to trusted adults.”