Nicola Bulley: Lancashire Police to be investigated over search

Lancashire Police will be investigated over its handling of the Nicola Bulley case.

It comes after the force was widely criticised - and at a media briefing on Monday they did not address the backlash.

MPs and campaign groups voiced their disapproval after the force released elements of Ms Bulley's private life during the search – including her struggles with alcohol and perimenopause.

A “full independent review” is set to be carried out by the College of Policing into Lancashire Police’s handling of the Nicola Bulley case, the county’s police and crime commissioner said.

Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said the public “understandably feel that there remain questions about the handling of elements of the police investigation, how it was communicated and the decision to release personal information”.

Lancashire Police said it welcomed the review.

Ms Bulley's body was pulled from the River Wyre in Lancashire on Sunday, more than three weeks after she was last seen on January 27.

On Wednesday, an inquest opening heard that the mother-of-two was identified by her dental records.

At Monday’s media briefing, police also did not disclose why it took 23 days to find her body in the river.

Mr Snowden said the independent review would have three clear areas of focus: investigation and search, communication and public engagement, and the releasing of personal information.

“In my role as commissioner, as the public’s voice in policing in Lancashire, I also need to put in place the appropriate scrutiny to seek the right assurances and to ensure I am effectively holding the Constabulary to account.

“I have therefore taken the decision to commission a full independent review into the handling of this case, with clearly defined terms of reference, to ensure lessons can be learned, not just for Lancashire, but for all forces.