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YouTuber arrested and fined after he joined search for Nicola Bulley as cops clamp down on 'amateur sleuths'
16 February 2023, 11:57
A social media influencer has been fined after he tried to investigate the disappearance of Nicola Bulley.
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Dan Duffy, a YouTuber and TikTok user, was punished with a £90 penalty for a public order offence on February 10.
"Hi guys, I'm being arrested on a public order offence. They've had an allegation," he said in a video posted to his Exploring with Danny channel, as police put handcuffs on him.
"As you all know I was in search to find the missing woman Nicola but this is what it's turning into. No freedom of speech."
Text on the screen says: "20 hours in the police station arrested on a public order offence for searching for missing woman Nicola Bulley."
The YouTuber, who has filmed himself exploring buildings, is later seen standing in the back of a police van and raising his middle fingers on both hands.
A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: "A 36-year-old man from Darwen was arrested under Section 4 of the Public Order Act - Fear/Provocation of Violence.
"He was given a fixed penalty notice."
Police have told amateur sleuths to stay away and said they have "significantly distracted" in the search.
Hitting out at "TikTok amateur detectives", Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith said the efforts of social media commentators have "significantly distracted the investigation".
Ms Bulley has been missing for almost three weeks, having vanished on the morning of January 27 in St Michael's on Wyre in Lancashire.
Police said their main working theory is that she fell in the River Wyre as she walked along a towpath in fields there.
But her partner Paul Ansell has said he does not believe she is in the river.
Nick Ferrari hits out at Lancashire Police over Bulley case
Meanwhile, detectives said on Thursday they have been "inundated with false information, accusations and rumours which is distracting" them from their work to find Nicola Bulley, who is a "high-risk" missing person with "specific vulnerabilities".
Officers have since said Ms Bulley, a mother of two, had been suffering with "significant" alcohol issues in the months before her disappearance, brought on by her "ongoing struggles with the menopause".