People in village where Nicola Bulley vanished have had to hire private security

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Residents in the village where Nicola Bulley vanished have hired private security after being left ‘terrified’ by amateur sleuths peering through their windows and trying the doors.

It has now been three weeks since the mum-of-two went missing after dropping off her daughters, aged six and nine, at school on January 27 in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire.

Speaking to Sky News, Wyre Council leader Michael Vincent said interest in the case has been ‘quite unprecedented’, adding: ‘Everybody seems to have a theory on social media, everybody seems to want to know all of the information.’

The disappearance has prompted scores of individuals to head into the village to join in with searches, but Mr Vincent described how ‘some of the darker elements of the public’s interest’ has seen wannabe detectives taking the law into their own hands.

He said: ‘People have reported being sat in their living rooms in an afternoon watching television and people coming up to the windows, peering in, trying the doors, it’s been terrifying for them.

‘These are typically older people extremely scared in their own homes.

‘The residents have had to employ an external security company, that’s just not acceptable.’

He added:‘People have typically stayed strong, they’ve been pretty resilient in these difficult times, but they have found it very upsetting and distressing.’

One Tiktoker was fined for posting videos from the search scene on social media.

Mr Vincent was also asked for his thoughts on the criticism levelled at Lancashire Police after the force revealed deeply personal information about Ms Bulley’s private life in an extraordinary statement.

He told the broadcaster detectives have ‘done their best in difficult circumstances’ but said ‘there are lessons to be learned’.

Talking about the information on Ms Bulley revealed by police, Mr Vincent went on: ‘That was put out there with the knowledge of Nicola’s family because other people were seeking to make that information public.

‘That wasn’t the police’s decision, their hand was forced, should they have done it? Again, with the benefit of hindsight, that should be looked into in future cases.

‘I think they have done their best in difficult circumstances.’

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Lancashire Police said earlier this week they have been ‘inundated with false information, accusations and rumours’ relating to the case.

Asked if ‘social media video-makers and wannabe detectives have been an annoyance or a hindrance in the inquiry’, Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith said: ‘Yes, it has significantly distracted the investigation.

‘In 29 years’ police service I’ve never seen anything like it. Some of it’s been quite shocking and really hurtful to the family.

‘Obviously, we can’t disregard anything and we’ve reviewed everything that’s come in but of course it has distracted us significantly.’

Police detail ‘persistent myths’ about Nicola Bulley’s disappearance

Here are the ‘persistent myths’ referred to during the press conference:

-Derelict house

There has been speculation about a derelict house on the other side of the River Wyre.

However, Ms Smith said it has been searched three times, with the permission of the owner, and Ms Bulley was not there.

-Red van

Reports from witnesses described seeing a red van they considered to be suspicious in the area around the time Ms Bulley went missing.

Police say they are continuing to make enquiries to try to track down the van, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

Ms Smith added: ‘We are continuing to investigate that so that we can identify whoever was in the area at that time to make sure they can’t give us more information.’


There have also been reports of fisherman seen in the area on the morning of Ms Bulley’s disappearance, who were described as suspicious.

Ms Smith said: ‘I myself don’t find it suspicious that fisherman would be in the area of a river that morning or carrying fishing rods.’

However, officers have checked CCTV, contacted local angling clubs and appealed for information, following a witness report about a fisherman in the area supposedly trying to cover his face.


Police say a glove found in the area does not belong to Ms Bulley.

Ms Smith said: ‘You’ll no doubt be aware that TikTokers have been playing their own private detectives and have been in the area.

‘A glove has been recovered that is not believed to be relevant to the investigation, it is not Nicola’s but we have got that in our possession.’

-Caravan site

Rumours have circulated about CCTV at a nearby caravan site not working.

Lancashire Police says this is not the case and officers have been helped ‘beyond all belief’ by owners of the site.

It came after Wyre Council announced on Monday it has removed councillors’ contact details from its website due to ‘inappropriate emails and phone calls’ about Ms Bulley’s disappearance.

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