Boy, 10, identifies stranger trying to get through school gate by drawing picture of him

A TEN-year-old boy has been praised by police after drawing a picture of a stranger who tried to get through the gates of his school.

Ryan Cook drew a picture of the man for officers with descriptions such as ‘no beared’ (sic) and ‘he was bald’.

Ryan Cook, 10, with his police certificate awarded for his detective work
North News and Pictures
The picture Ryan drew of the suspected intruder
North News and Pictures

The youngster was at Lemington Riverside Primary School in Newcastle when he was approached by a man he did not know who was trying to gain access through the school gates.

He told his mum and dad that the man had been trying to get inside the school and his parents immediately contacted police.

Officers asked the schoolboy to try to draw a picture so they could help identify the ‘suspect’.

Meanwhile staff at the school received similar reports from other children in the yard and identified the man as an official visitor.

It is an absolute pleasure to be able to present Ryan with a commendation for a fine piece of detective work last week

Inspector PalmerNewcastle North Neighbourhood Policing Team at Northumbria Police

Police and staff were satisfied nobody else had tried to get onto the schools’ grounds and the investigation was brought to a close.

Sergeant Ashley Palmer, who is in charge of policing in Lemington, Newcastle, thanked Ryan and gave him a certificate signed by Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable.

Inspector Palmer, of the Newcastle North Neighbourhood Policing Team at Northumbria Police, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to be able to present Ryan with a commendation for a fine piece of detective work last week.

“I don’t know whether he would consider a future career with the police but he certainly has a detective’s brain.

“If he doesn’t want to pull on the uniform then he could definitely find a job as a police sketch artist!”

INVITED TO THE STATION

Ryan was invited along to Etal Lane Police Station in Newcastle on Monday to receive his commendation off Inspector Palmer and to be given a tour of the police station.

During this time he was able to sit in a police car, get himself locked in the back of a police van and meet some of the cuter members of the Force’s Dog Section.

Ryan said: “I am happy that I was able to help the police and that it wasn’t anything bad in the end. I would definitely do the same again.

“It was really fun to meet the police dogs and have a look inside the police van. The officers were really nice and I was really happy about my certificate.”

It makes me really proud that Ryan would speak up about it and that his description helped identify the person he spoke to

Craig JohnsonRyan‘s dad

The schoolboy’s dad Craig Johnson, 34, joined Ryan on the trip and he said he was really proud of his son for speaking up.

He said: “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.

“It was really good of the police to invite him down to the station and present him with a certificate. They went the extra mile and I just want to say thank you.”

Craig Heeley, head teacher at Lemington Riverside Primary School, also praised Ryan.

He said: “We are pleased that Ryan and a number of children quickly reported to staff that somebody they did not recognise was trying to access the school through an entrance that we don’t usually use during the school day.

“Staff quickly investigated and established that the gentleman in question was a professional who had a pre-arranged meeting in school.

“It’s pleasing that our safeguarding procedures work and our children are reporting any concerns to trusted adults.”


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