Nicola Bulley case being treated like ‘a reality gameshow’

Nicola Bulley had ‘significant issues’ with alcohol say police

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Police officers on the Nicola Bulley case have had “nothing but stick”, said a former police officer who was in the force for 30 years. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, told he “feels for the police” who have been heavily criticised as speculation around the case continues.

Throughout the missing person investigation, Lancashire Police have been slammed for the way the search for the mother-of-two has gone.

A public Facebook page run by former officers and volunteers said the case was being treated “like a reality gameshow”.

Yesterday, MPs, celebrities and other public figures shared their fury about the police revealing personal details about Nicola’s mental health, such as her struggle with alcohol.

And last week, former detectives also argued there were several gaps in the investigation as well as issues with police activity.

But according to the former West Midlands Police officer who spoke to, the criticism and speculation are “absolutely ridiculous”.

He said: “I’ve found the speculation really poor. I really do feel for the police because they have worked day and night on this no doubt.

“They have treated it as a missing person inquiry of a vulnerable person.

“They have done everything probably by the book like they’re trained to do and they’ve just got nothing but stick and personally I’m not impressed by it.”

Lancashire Police on Wednesday said publicly how Nicola’s “issues with alcohol” were brought on because of her menopause. This led to a public backlash.

The force said her drinking problems had “resurfaced over recent months” and caused issues for her partner Paul Ansell.

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Labour MP Stella Creasy called the decision to release Nicola’s personal information “deeply troubling” and argued the police “need to be much clearer” about why the release will help the investigation.

Zoë Billingham, the chairwoman of an NHS mental health trust and former Inspector of HM Constabulary, asked the BBC: “Why on Earth was this information even vaguely relevant to an investigation that’s 20 days on?”

But the former West Midlands cop explained that “constant social media pressure” was behind the leaks as it had been pressuring the police to “divulge more”.

He added: “I found that very frustrating and it was quite obvious to me that they knew more. So what did the police do in the end?

“I’m sure with the blessing of the family, they decided to release a little bit more information…

“So they released a press conference and they said that she had been suffering from mental health issues. And then of course people were like ‘ah, of course, now I know why Nicola has fallen in the river’.”

Mick Neville, who headed up Lambeth’s Missing Persons Unit, last week told MailOnline there was something “really wrong” with the case and outlined several issues with the case, such as the need to “hugely expand” the water search.

Meanwhile, on TikTok and other social media platforms, people have continued to put forward conspiracy theories. Influencers have previously been seen visiting the site where she went missing, which has been criticised as “morbid tourism”.

The Facebook page, UK Cop Humour, which raises money for charities related to emergency services, said people are “absolutely obsessed with the case like it’s some sort of reality game show”.

It added: “It’s a real-life tragedy that decent people are hoping is resolved soon and with Nicola being found safe and well.”

“Lancashire Police have one concern here: finding Nicola Bulley safe. They’re not here to pander to you and your conspiracy theories.”

“And whoever the FLO [Family Liason Officer] is/are – we take our hats off to you. We have no doubt that you, along with everyone else involved in this investigation – is doing a sterling job.

“Try and ignore the noise. Police can’t do right for doing wrong these days. But they turn up and get on with it regardless.”

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