Lancashire Police facing backlash for sharing Nicola Bulley update

Nicola Bulley had 'significant issues' with alcohol say police

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Lancashire Police are facing backlash for revealing Nicola Bulley’s struggles with alcohol that were brought on by the menopause. Assistant Chief Constable Peter Lawson and Senior Investigating Officer Detective Supt Rebecca Smith gave an update on the investigation during a press conference on Wednesday. SIO Rebecca Smith said Nicola was classed as “high risk” following her disappearance on January 27 due to “vulnerabilities” which they said would not be divulged.

But the force later backtracked as they decided to share what vulnerabilities to which they had been referring. In a statement, Lancashire Police said Nicola had been struggling with “significant” issues with alcohol and that police had attended the family home in January after a welfare concern.

The 45-year-old went missing while walking her dog Willow and despite ongoing search efforts, is still yet to be found.

But the decision to reveal her personal struggles has received backlash as some question how it will help the investigation to reveal such private information.

During the press conference, the police explained that they were planning on releasing “more information than usual” due to the high level of interest in the case.

Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, questioned the decision to publicly reveal details about Nicola’s personal life.

She tweeted: “The decision to disclose this level of detail on a missing person’s private life, with no evidence that this is assisting in finding her, is deeply troubling.

“The police need to be much clearer as to why any of this helps find Nicola Bulley or support this investigation.”

Silkie Carlo, of Big Brother Watch, said the decision to broadcast Nicola’s health issues and hormone status is a “serious invasion of her privacy with no obvious benefits for the investigation”.

Jamie Klingler, Co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, said that she “Was not invested in the Nicola Bulley story until the police started using her as a shield to protect their own incompetence.

“This is not how to treat a missing woman. It is cruel to her babies and to her. And they do it all the time.”

Director of the Good Law Project, Jo Maugham, asked how the police will justify their decision if the mother-of-two is found alive.

He tweeted: “If, as we all hope, Nicola Bulley is found alive how will the police justify a breach of her confidentiality to, what looks like, manage their own reputation?”

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While, Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton Alicia Kearns tweeted: “I am deeply uncomfortable with the police releasing Nicola Bulley’s so-called ‘vulnerabilities’ on menopause & alcohol.

“I struggle to ascertain how this will assist Police in their search & investigations.

“I do see how it would assist those wishing to victim-blame or diminish.”

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