What social media users have done to distract the search for the missing mother of two: Bulley explains how she disappeared into the River Wyre
One video shows a glove found in a field by a woman who has been missing for three weeks.
Yet another simply shows a section of the River Wyre in northern England near where she vanished, in an effort to prove how slow-moving and shallow the water is. She may have gone into the water, so divers searched the river downstream. “There is no way on God’s earth Nicola is in this river,” the caption reads.
These viral videos have been condemned by police as social media users “playing private detectives” and distracting their search for the missing mother of two.
Bulley’s case has grabbed the attention of the general public. Someone is missing in the UK every 90 seconds. Most are found within 48 hours, but a number remain for much longer.
A short while later, her phone was located on a bench next to the river and she was still in a group work call. But for three weeks, the search launched by Lancashire Police for the 45-year-old mother of two drew a blank.
After reviewing hundreds of hours of CCTV and dashcam footage, and investigating tip-offs from the public, police officers have insisted that there is still no evidence to indicate third-party involvement and their main working hypothesis remains that she fell into the River Wyre.
Smith said at a press conference on Wednesday that the police revealed personal information about Bulley because her partner, Paul, gave them information.
Lancashire Police Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith told journalists on Wednesday that the social media frenzy had “significantly distracted” the investigation. I have worked in the police department 29 years and have never seen anything like it.
“Some of it’s been quite shocking and really hurtful to the family. Obviously, we can’t disregard anything, and we’ve reviewed everything that’s come in but of course it has distracted us significantly.”
Smith took the opportunity to denounce some of the conspiracy theories. She said that the house which is across the river from her was searched 3 times, with the permission of the owner.
The Lancashire Police’s silence after the revelation of Nicola Bulley’s information had a “whiff of sexism”
While asking members of the public to stop inundating them with “false information, accusations and rumors,” Lancashire Police has taken flak for its own handling of the case.
The revelation of Bulley’s personal details had a “whiff of sexism” according to David Wilson, professor of criminology.
“There’s a lot of distrust at the moment in the police – especially from women – specifically because of a number of high-profile femicides in London,” he told CNN. “So the police have to be as open and honest as they can be, but last night they lost a lot of my sympathy as what they said seemed like victim blaming and had a whiff of misogyny – revealing Nicola’s alcohol problems and menopause struggles.”
The hashtag “menopause” was trending on Twitter in the wake of the police announcements, with some social media users accusing Lancashire Police of letting women down.
At least 16 women, most recently Sarah Everard in 2021, have been killed by serving or retired police officers over the last 13 years in the UK, according to the Femicide Census, a group that collects data on women killed by men. Campaigners feel that tackling gender-based violence is not a police priority.
Professor Wilson, who works with and trains the police, understands that sometimes the force is “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.” He thought the tone of Wednesday’s press conference was wrong.
Their recent press conference seemed to be insincere, when they use the public to provide information, and so it’s no good saying that they sometimes give information they don’t want.
“Of course the TikTokers and armchair detectives were clearly a hindrance to them, but that is simply a new reality that has to be managed – you can’t wish it away.
“I was worried that the clarification aboutNicola was made in order to protect their institutional reputation and to not pay attention to the humanity of the people involved in the investigation,” he said.
We were aware that a statement had been released by the police about our niece, and we were not surprised by it.
“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 police are still being criticized. Vera Baird was victims’ commissioner for England and Wales and her role was to encourage good treatment of crime victims.
And British Home Secretary Suella Braverman raised concerns with police over its handling of the case, according to a Home Office spokesperson on Friday.
Nicola’s Dog Walk with Paul Bulley: A Final Post-Missing Conversation with Sheriam Abdulrahman-Zwanziger
She was last seen by the other dog walkers. During the walk, she dialed into a work conference call, keeping her camera off and microphone muted. The call ended at 9:09 a.m., with Bulley still logging on.
The phone was placed on the bench at 9:20 a.m. and it wasn’t found until 10 minutes later.
The friend of Bulley told CNN she was a loyal and thoughtful person who adores her two girls and family and friends. Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell had described the situation to be a “perpetual hell.”
Nicola’s family has been told and are devastated. His thoughts are with them and with her family as well as the community.
Bulley’s body was found on the River Wyre on Sunday, close to the spot where she was last seen.
The body identification has confirmed their “worst fears”, according to a statement read on Monday by the Chief Supt. Stables. It said that we will never be able to comprehend what she went through in her final moments.
The people who love our girls the most will support our girls when they need it. It saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing (and) misquoted and vilified friends and family. This is absolutely appalling. They need to be held accountable. This cannot happen to another family.,” the statement added.