Ex-cop says Nicola Bulley investigators need to ‘look themselves in the mirror’

A former Scotland Yard Detective has slammed the way police have handled the disappearance of missing mum Nicola Bulley.

Nicola, 45, was last seen on January 27 during a dog walk near the River Wyre in the village of St Michaels on the Wyre, Lancashire.

A massive search for the mum launched by Lancashire Police used drones, dogs, and specialist divers but the force came under fire this week for revealing that Ms Bulley struggled with alcohol due to menopause.

READ MORE: Nicola Bulley's final text shows 'she wasn't in crisis', says ex-cop

Criticising the force, former undercover Scotland Yard Detective Peter Bleksley told Sky News that investigators need to "look themselves in the mirror long and hard".

He believes that the lack of information shared with the public created a "void", which has been filed by gossip, rumours, and speculation.

Bleksley, who also starred in the Channel 4 show Hunted, previously claimed police looking for Nicola have acted with "shocking naivety".

The ex-cop told Sky News: “The more the police said at press conferences 'please don't speculate', then I'm afraid that has the exact opposite because people just did speculate rampantly.”

He went on to accuse Superintendent Sally Riley of Lancashire Police of asking the public not to speculate during a press conference, only to speculate herself moments later.

  • Nicola Bulley cops find body in search for missing mum, police confirm

"The messaging from Lanc. Police has been pretty poor at times,” he continued. “There was the dramatic U-turn after the press conference on Wednesday, and police will need to look themselves in the mirror long and hard and say 'how can we improve the messaging'.”

Bleksley believes this is why so many sleuths and vigilantes have descended upon the area in a bid to find evidence and solve the disappearance themselves.

"The messaging is very, very important and police desperately need to get it right in future cases otherwise we'll see more speculation and a loss of trust.

  • Nicola Bulley cops 'now facing three separate inquires' into handling of her case

"I don't think I've seen such ham-fisted messaging over an investigation that's gained such widespread attention."

On Wednesday, police held a press conference where they said for the first time that the mum-of-two was categorised as "high risk" due to "a number of specific vulnerabilities".

At the time, they did not elaborate and sparked further speculation despite trying to use the press conference to quash any unhelpful theories.

Hours later, the force stated on Facebook that Nicola "in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with menopause".

Nicola's family said they were aware that these details would be made public, despite knowing "Nikki would have not wanted this".

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