A POLICE chief has heaped praise on quick-thinking cadets who rushed to the aid of a spectator who collapsed at the Great North Run.

An elderly woman came into trouble as she watched the early stages of Sunday’s half-marathon race between Newcastle and South Shields.

After seeing the pensioner collapse opposite the Hilton hotel on the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge, a team of police cadets were on hand and sprang into action.

With the woman conscious and breathing but clearly shaken, the caring cadets manoeuvred the crowds to give her space and administered first aid as they waited for ambulance staff to arrive.

She received treatment from medics but did not require to go to hospital.

Chief Inspector David Pickett, Northumbria Police’s Silver Commander for the Great North Run, said: "Our cadets are such an important asset for the force and this is just another example of how dedicated they are.

“Tens of thousands of people headed to the North-East for the Great North Run and our officers were on duty along the route to protect competitors, spectators and local residents.

“Our volunteer cadets gave up their own time to support our officers and staff at the event, and this incident highlighted the real and positive difference that they make every single week.

Almost 43,000 competitors took part in the event.