Criticizing the police for the search for Nicola Bulley is “unfair”, says the ex-boss

Lancashire Police, Nicola Bulley.

Lancashire Police faced major backlash this week (Images: Rex/PA)

Criticism of the way detectives have handled their investigation into Nicola Bulley’s disappearance is “unfair,” a former boss has said.

Lancashire Police have faced backlash in their search for the missing mother.

She disappeared on January 27 while walking her dog in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre.

Former Greater Manchester Police Chief Peter Fahy told BBC Radio 4: “Lancashire Police have been very diligent in locating many witnesses, eyewitnesses, mobile phone data and the massive use of CCTV.

“That alone has already put to rest many possible theories as to what happened to this poor woman.

“It’s disappointing that certain politicians may not have tried to take a more balanced view of this and say yes there is a particular problem with the provision of personal information and that often comes up in large investigations.

He said there was “a great feeling in policing that the way Lancashire Police have focused has become unfair”.

The public backlash, which has included complaints from MPs, mainly concerned a police press release issued on Wednesday detailing Ms Bulley’s private health issues.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Greenwood/Shutterstock (13751525bt) A general view as police continue their search for Nicola Bulley, 45, who went missing on Friday morning and was most recently found on a towpath by the River Wyre in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire , Was seen . Disappearance of Nicola Bulley, Lancashire, UK - 02 February 2023

The disappearance of Nicola Bulley has gripped the nation (Image: Shutterstock)

Undated family photo issued by Lancashire Police, of missing wife Nicola Bulley, 45, who was last seen on the morning of January 27 walking her dog on a footpath by the nearby River Wyre. Ms Bulley, a mortgage adviser from Inskip, Lancashire, disappeared while walking her dog after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, from school. Her mobile phone and the leash and harness for her dog, Springer Spaniel Willow, were found on a bench near the River Wyre in the Lancashire countryside.Issue date: Friday February 3, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Bulley. Photo credit should read: Family Handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This Handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

Nicola Bulley was last seen on the morning of January 27 (Image: PA)

The statement revealed the 45-year-old mum was struggling with drinking problems brought on by menopause before she disappeared.

Many people find it inappropriate for the squad to reveal something so private.

Former victims’ officer for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird, previously said: “It is a terrible mistake to make this publicly available for absolutely nothing and I’m afraid I think it’s as sexist as it comes.

“Would we have had cops say, you know, if it was Nicholas, he’s unfortunate that he’s alcohol bound because he’s been suffering from erectile dysfunction for the past few weeks? I do not think so.

“You can hear all the senior police officers squirm as I say it, I would have thought.”

Former Greater Manchester Police Chief Sir Peter Fahy.

Greater Manchester Police Peter Fahy said: ‘Lancashire Police have been very busy’ (Image: PA)

Nicola Bulley CCTV Blind Spot Map Underground Graphics Credit

Nicolas last known moves – and CCTV cameras in the area (Image:

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the Information Commissioner have announced an investigation into the force.

It comes after social media users were labeled “vigilantes” by officials.

Some are believed to have attempted to enter a number of derelict properties along the River Wyre, claiming police did not search thoroughly enough.

Two TikTok users have faced backlash online after they filmed themselves digging in an area near the River Wyre where Nicola was last seen.

One was seen digging up earth while another debated the broader mystery surrounding the disappearance.

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Justin Scaccy

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