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Police Under Scrutiny Over Welfare Check and Release of Personal Info in Nicola Bulley Case

Police Under Scrutiny Over Welfare Check and Release of Personal Info in Nicola Bulley Case

COPS in charge of the botched search for tragic Nicola Bulley are to face two major reviews into their handling of the case.

Officers confirmed Nicola’s body had been formally identified

The College of Policing was asked to begin a “full and independent review” of the bungled three-week search for the mum-of-two.

ALSO READ: Tragic discovery: Nicola Bulley’s body identified by dental records, inquest reveals

Their investigation is likely to examine why police disclosed Nicola’s alcoholism and painfully personal menopause struggles.

Separately, the police watchdog has launched an investigation into a “welfare check” conducted at Nicola’s residence just days before she vanished.

No arrests were made concerning the incident.

The dramatic announcements were made within 45 minutes of each other amidst mounting criticism of Lancashire Police’s flawed investigation.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct spokesman said: “Following a referral by Lancashire Constabulary on Thursday, we have started an independent investigation regarding contact the force had with Nicola Bulley on January 10, 2023.

“The police department informed us that an officer visited the family’s residence on that date as part of a welfare check.

ALSO READ: Nicola Bulley’s Family Devastated After Confirmed Body Found

“Ms. Bulley’s family and friends, as well as all those affected by her passing, are in our thoughts.

Our investigation is still in its earliest stages.

Andrew Snowden, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, disclosed today that he had asked the College of Policing to conduct a “comprehensive, independent review” of the case’s handling.

The force has since said it “welcomes” the independent review, which will focus on the investigation and search, communication and public engagement, and the releasing of personal information.

Mr. Snowden stated that it was being held because “there are questions that, quite rightly, members of the public and across different political spectrums want to be answered about the search, the investigation, and information release.”

“My job is to hold the police accountable for providing an efficient and effective policing service,” he continued. “Now that the investigation and search have been completed, it is appropriate to ask why that information was released and to ensure that it has been thoroughly reviewed.”

ALSO READ: The Hunt for Missing Mum Nicola Bulley

The update follows the police department’s disclosure that Nicola had “vulnerabilities” at the time of her disappearance.

These included “significant alcohol issues” in the past that were caused by her “ongoing menopause struggles.”

Police confirmed that Nicola’s struggles had resurfaced in recent months.

Added statement: “This created significant difficulties for Paul and his family.

“On January 10, a response car staffed by both police and health professionals responded to a report of concern for Nicola’s welfare at her residence.

“No one has been arrested concerning this incident, but it is being investigated.”

Officers have defended their decision to release the personal information in response to criticism from members of parliament and former officers.

Rishi Sunak expressed “concerns” in response to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s directive to the force to explain the details.

Sunday, 23 days after her disappearance, Nicola was discovered on the banks of the River Wyre.

Two dog walkers discovered her less than a mile from her last known location.

Today’s opening and adjournment of an investigation into her death confirmed that dental records were required to identify her.

Police conducted a “hugely complex and highly emotional” search for Nicola, but were unable to locate her.

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