Nicola Bulley: Ex-detective ‘confused’ at police’s alcohol comment
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Nicola Bulley’s friend has accused Lancashire Police of sharing private details of her menopause-related alcohol struggles as a distraction designed “to shift the focus away from the lack of progress in the case”. The 45-year-old mortgage adviser was last seen walking her springer spaniel Willow in St Michael’s on the Wyre on 27 January.
Her friend spoke to the Mirror after it emerged that the mum-of-two was categorised as “high-risk” due to “a number of specific vulnerabilities”, police revealed for the first time during a recent press conference.
However, the force refused to elaborate sparking further speculation, defeating the purpose of press conference which was set up to quash any unhelpful theories that had been circulating about the missing mum.
Lancashire Police, hours later, posted on Facebook that the Essex-born woman “in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause”.
The issues they referred to they said had “resurfaced in recent months”.
A family friend of the Bulley’s, told the Mirror that they are “angry” about the police handling of the investigation and social media users distracting the force and sapping their resources.
The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I feel angry for Nikki. She’s a beautiful, kind, loving person. One of the best kind of friends you could wish for.
“This has painted her in an unfair light. I think the police have done this to shift the focus onto this rather than on them and their lack of progress.”
Ms Bulley’s friend also hit out at Lancashire Police’s initial theory that she fell into the River Wyre.
“I think they want people to buy into their theory that she went into the river. I do fear that the focus will be on this now rather than trying to find Nikki”, she said.
“We really need to focus on finding out what has happened and where she has gone. Focus needs to be given to the areas not covered by CCTV and following up on those dash cams.”
The anonymous friend also struck a blow against social media detectives travelling to St Michael’s on the Wyre, but didn’t blame them for the police releasing the latest personal information about Nicola.
“I think the TikTokers are taking the police away from what they need to be doing and wasting valuable resources”, she said.
“However, I doubt it would have made much difference to the information that has been released. The police have released this info the shift the focus off them. This would still be the case without them.”
They went on: “Whatever is written will be out there in the public domain. Her daughters will read all of this one day.”
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Nicola’s family have released a statement to appealing to her to come home, and telling her “not to be scared” as her girls just “want a cuddle”.
They said: “We, as a family, believe that the public focus has become distracted from finding Nikki, and more about speculation and rumours into her and Paul’s private life.
“As a family, we were aware beforehand that Lancashire Police, last night, released a statement with some personal details about our Nikki.
“Although we know that Nikki would not have wanted this, there are people out there speculating and threatening to sell stories about her. This is appalling and needs to stop.”
Engaging the speculation regarding Nicola’s health, the family said: “Due to the perimenopause Nikki suffered with significant side effects such as brain fog, restless sleep and was taking HRT to help but this was giving her intense headaches which caused Nikki to stop taking the HRT thinking that may have helped her but only ended up causing this crisis.
“The public focus has to be on finding her and not making up wild theories about her personal life.
“Despite what some media outlets and individuals are suggesting, we are being updated daily and receive support from our family liaison officers.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Lancashire Police for comment.
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