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Case Study

Rosealina Leung


BSc (Hons) Criminology

Rosealina Leung is a current student on the BSc (Hons) Criminology course. She volunteered on the Northumbria Local Appropriate Adult Scheme, founded by the University, to gain experience working in police custody as she hopes to join the police force once she has her degree.

I decided to become an appropriate adult as part of the University’s scheme as I felt that not only would it help me gain experience working with custody officers, police officers, and detainees, but also give me an understanding of what it’s like to be at the scene interviewing a detainee. After graduating with my BSc (Hons) Criminology degree, I’m hoping to join the police force.

I really enjoyed everything about volunteering on the Northumbria Local Appropriate Adult Scheme (NLAAS) as I learnt a lot from the officers I worked with, such as how to deal with certain situations and how they collect samples of evidence from detainees. All the teams I’ve worked with, including the current NLAAS team, are all lovely people, and we always help each other out if we don’t understand something.

I’ve developed a lot of useful skills since joining the scheme such as making sure I’m able to act on the spot, no matter what circumstances may occur. Certain situations that arise often mean having to stay alert and offer help to both sides, but also informing the officers with regards to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), which is the code of practice. I’ve also improved my interpersonal skills as I’ve had to communicate with different people in various situations where you can often feel under pressure.

My advice to any students who are thinking about volunteering as an appropriate adult is to make sure you’re mentally prepared before you enter the room with the detainee – some of the things you’ll listen to can be quite overwhelming and distressing. Also, for any students who are nervous about going into custody, don’t be, because the officers you’ll be working with on the day will always look after you if anything goes wrong. I wish good luck and all the best to any prospective students looking to join the scheme!”

Published 26 October 2023

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