A FORMER detective has said Nicola Bulley’s reputation has been destroyed by police after they revealed her struggles with alcohol.
The dog walker, 45, disappeared after dropping her children off at school in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, on Friday January 27.
Since then there has been no trace of the mum-of-two, leaving her family in agony despite extensive searches.
But detectives yesterday gave further insight into their colossal investigation into her disappearance.
In a statement on February 15, cops revealed that she had been classed as a "high risk" missing person due to "vulnerabilities" identified by her partner.
They added that revealing these "vulnerabilities" were an "unusual" but necessary step.
They revealed she had “in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause”.
They told that “these struggles had resurfaced over recent months” and “this caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.”
Now former Detective Chief Inspector Martyn Underhill has slammed the police statement, saying he has never "seen such a level of detail" released in a missing persons case.
He told Sky News: "You can understand why some people are saying it's victim blaming to protect their own reputation.
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"I can't see how it progresses the case any further forward now we're three weeks in, to be frank."
It comes as Brits have slammed the police as “disgusting and misogynistic” for revealing the sensitive and private information.
One wrote: “Police have given the information about Mrs Nicola Bulley's lifestyle and really cops should not have put it out there!
“That she had an issue with the alcohol and that for sure! Disgusting of the police to say that alcohol was misused!”
Another fumed: “Why do I need to know that a missing woman had difficulty with alcohol and symptoms related to the menopause? Highly personal details.”
A third added: “They are really out here pushing the menopause/alcohol line with Nicola Bulley aren’t they? Vile!”
Broadcaster Fern Britton, 65, also blasted police for creating an “undertone” around the search
She said in a tweet: ”I am uncomfortable with the latest news suggesting that Nicola Bulley has an issue with alcohol and menopause.
It comes as…
- Police reveal officers were called to the family home just weeks before Nicola went missing
- Cops reveal ‘significant issues’ with alcohol & menopause had caused partner Paul Ansell ‘real challenges’
- Detectives revealed in a press conference they are investigating three possible scenarios over her disappearance
- But cops insisted there is still no suggestion of a third party being involved
- Police are now taking over her social media accounts as part of the investigation
- Follow our blog for the latest news
“The undertone is that she maybe ‘a bit unstable’ or perhaps even ‘not in her right mind.’ Too easy to write a woman off like this. What lies behind it?”
Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy also questioned the cops decision to publicly reveal the details.
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."
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Twitter: "I am deeply uncomfortable with the police releasing Nicola Bulley's so-called 'vulnerabilities' on menopause and 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."
Silkie Carlo, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, tweeted: "Lancashire Police broadcasting missing Nicola Bulley's health issues and hormone status to the world is a serious invasion of her privacy with no obvious benefits for the investigation.
"A shocking decision when the police's treatment of women is rightly in the spotlight.
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"It's not at all clear how the police are justifying this disclosure, which seems to be aimed at shoring up public support for Lancashire Police's own forgone conclusions.
"The ramifications of this invasion of medical privacy could be really serious, including for Nicola's safety."
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