Partnership leads to new style of policing
Studying at Teesside University has completely transformed the way Inspector Lee Rukin of Cleveland Police works and along with three of his fellow officers he will graduate this year with an honours degree.
Lee Rukin at Dyke House School in Hartlepool (one of the schools he is working with) with children L-R Juliette Draper, Ryan Williams, Shona Willoughby & Jessica Harker, all age 13.
Inspector Rukin, 32, undertook a final work-based project examining and developing an effective strategy with how the police engage with young people in Hartlepool. Senior officers are now looking at how they can implement some of Lee’s recommendations.
Teesside University has been working in partnership with Cleveland Police for ten years – with officers undergoing training with both the School of Social Sciences & Law and in the last three years with the University’s Business School.
Now 40 more officers, both sergeants and inspectors, are working towards achieving their BA (Hons) Leadership and Management through work-based study.
In fact Inspector Lee Rukin is currently Temporary Chief Inspector of Operations at Hartlepool: 'Doing this degree has already meant that I am another step ahead on the promotions ladder with this position,' he explains.
Lee was encouraged to progress to an honours degree at Teesside by his wife Joanne, herself a graduate in child nursing: 'It was a bit daunting but Joanne encouraged me. I went from youth football to the army and then into the police, not a college route so I had never completed an academic report. I was aware that I needed to understand more of the theory based practice of leadership skills, how to be a good leader.
'It was a personal challenge for me but I was given so much support by the University from such experienced lecturers. The youth project was a fantastic project – I organised a big football tournament event with Hartlepool Football Club who gave us the ground free for a day.
'It was police officers against teachers and 1,000 pupils attended. I did some research and analysis afterwards and it has really changed the perception of the police for a lot of young people.
'We are now making changes in how we work with schools and young people through neighbourhood officers and we will be able to evaluate the long term impact on crime and anti-social behaviour.'
Lee’s enthusiasm for gaining a new perspective through academic study is also continuing: 'I am now looking at the possibility of continuing on to master’s degree,' he says.
Commander Glenn Gudgeon adds: 'It is important as a police force that we support our officers in continuous development. It leads to a professional service for the public that is flexible and responsive and challenges us to find new ways of working to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.'
Teesside University Business School has seen 200 Cleveland Police officers undergo the Leadership Development Module it accredits and is delighted that so many of those have gone on to undertake the further modules needed to gain a degree. It is part of partnership which also sees the University accrediting a series of 5 other training courses which takes places within the Force, each of which has been recognised as having academic value towards a degree.
Dave Smith, Consultant, Leadership Development Programme says: 'Cleveland Police has experienced a major culture shift – basing some study with the University offers a fresh perspective in our continuous bid to improve how we work as a professional organisation – the partnership opens up new opportunities for officers which allows them to achieve significant personal and professional development.'
Alastair Thomson, Dean of Teesside University Business School, says: 'I am very pleased Cleveland Police has seen so many benefits from working with us. Our responsive approach to working with external partners means we can help businesses and organisations in different sectors, like the police, health service and private industry to improve what they do and work more effectively.'
If you would like to know how your organisation could benefit from an initiative like this, contact Suzanne Withrington, Business Development Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org
01 October 2012
In the News
Inspector proves top of the class
Hartlepool Mail, 02/10/2012, p.10
Teesside University has been working in partnership with Cleveland Police for 10 years -with officers undergoing training with both the School of Social Sciences & Law and in the last three years with the University's Business School.