Exclusive

'Time will tell' if Lancashire Police was right to release Nicola Bulley's problems, Britain's top cop says

17 February 2023, 08:47 | Updated: 17 February 2023, 10:56

Britain's top cop spoke out about Nicola Bulley
Britain's top cop spoke out about Nicola Bulley. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Will Taylor

"Time will tell" if Lancashire Police were right to release details about Nicola Bulley's struggles with alcohol and menopause, Britain's top cop has told LBC.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley also said his force is ready to help under-fire detectives in the North West if they need it.

Lancashire Police revealed Ms Bulley had been dealing with issues before she vanished, leading to criticism as to whether the public needed to know such intimate details.

The force said it was necessary because of how much misinformation had been put out there.

Sir Mark told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "Any time you're releasing personal information you need to be very, very cautious.

"Is it absolutely necessary for a policing purpose to help achieve the aim of finding a missing woman?

"They've made that call, they've referred themselves to the IOPC, time will tell whether that was the right call in that circumstance.

"I don’t know what information they have in front of them investigating the case. So, we're all judging that from outside.

"Let's focus on finding her and let’s see if the IOPC find that Lancashire got it right or got it wrong."

Nick Ferrari puts Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley on the spot

He added: "It would be a rare thing to do. But there may be a case where it is necessary to do, and that’s why I don’t want to be absolute, but it would be a rare thing to do."

The Met is "of course" ready to help if needed, he added.

Lancashire Police came under fire for revealing she had been struggling with menopause and alcohol, but said it had to give out the details because of the amount of misinformation that has been put out.

Read more: Terrified villagers where Nicola Bulley went missing hire security as visitors peep through their windows

The force said: "Sadly, it is clear from speaking to Paul and the family that Nicola had in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause and that these struggles had resurfaced over recent months.

"This caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.

"As a result of those issues, a response car staffed by both police and health professionals attended a report of concern for welfare at Nicola’s home address on January 10th.

Nicola Bulley has been missing for three weeks
Nicola Bulley has been missing for three weeks. Picture: Alamy

"No one has been arrested in relation to this incident, but it is being investigated."

It was sharply criticised - with the Home Office intervening to demand answers over why such personal details had to be put out.

But the family appeared to back the force in a statement, in which Ms Bulley's loved ones pleaded for an end to "appalling" speculation about her private life in a case that has attracted amateur sleuths and online conspiracy theorists.

"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," the statement on Thursday said.

Read more: Nicola Bulley's family pleads for end to speculation amid police backlash

"The police know the truth about Nikki and now the public need to focus on finding her.

"Due to the peri menopause Nikki suffered with significant side effects such as brain fog, restless sleep and was taking HRT [hormone replacement therapy] 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."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Dame Esther said she was "disappointed" at no clear call for a vote on assisted dying

‘The law is a mess’: Dame Esther Rantzen issues fresh call for free vote on assisted dying

Canada Gaza Strip Aid

Canada says it is working to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible

Mark Feehily announced he's temporarily stepping away from the band amid health struggles.

Westlife star Mark Feehily reveals he’s standing down from the band just days before US tour leaving fans devastated

The Duke of Sussex took legal action against the Home Office over a decision in 2020 to change the level of his personal security

Prince Harry faces £1m bill after losing High Court challenge over taxpayer funded police protection

Rishi Sunak has warned 'mob rule' is threatening to 'replace democratic rule'.

End descent into ‘mob rule’ and shut down intimidating protests, Rishi Sunak tells police amid threats to MPs

Biden

President Joe Biden declared ‘fit for duty’ after annual medical test

Thomas Kingston died aged 45.

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston 'died at his parents' £3m country mansion'

Capitol

Supreme Court to rule if Trump can be prosecuted in election interference case

Richard Lewis has died aged 76.

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis dies aged 76 after suffering heart attack

Obit Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis, humorously morose star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, dies aged 76

Robert Brown's lost his bid for parole.

BA pilot Robert Brown who bludgeoned wife to death with claw hammer loses bid for early prison release

Film Oscars-Guide

Everything you need to know about this year’s Oscars ceremony

It is understood that RedBird IMI is offering to help pay the £1.16 billion in debts that the current owners, the Barclay family, owe to Lloyds Bank.

Foreign governments must be banned from owning British newspapers, says former Tory cabinet minister

Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table.

Death row execution abandoned after officials 'unable' to give lethal injection - with inmate's death warrant to expire

Mexico volcano

Flights cancelled as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupts

Lee Anderson

Police 'looking into hate speech complaint against Lee Anderson' after MP said Sadiq Khan was controlled by Islamists