British cops probing the mysterious disappearance of Nicola Bulley have been lambasted for their “sexist” revelations that the missing woman had been struggling with menopause and booze.
Now, John Edwards, the U.K.’s information commissioner, plans to ask cops if such revelations were necessary and whether such details should be “disclosed inappropriately.”
Bulley, 45, vanished three weeks ago during a walk with her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire. There have been no sightings and no trace of her since.
“Police can disclose information to protect the public and investigate crime, but they would need to be able to demonstrate such disclosure was necessary,” Edwards said.
“We recognize that at this stage of an intensive, live investigation, the force must focus all their energies on the inquiry. But given the high profile nature of this case, we will be asking Lancashire Police to set out how they reached the decision to disclose this information in due course.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is also reported to be “furious” over the alcohol and menopause revelations and has “asked for an explanation.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “The home secretary and policing minister are receiving regular updates from Lancashire Police on its handling of this case, including why personal information about Nicola was briefed out at this stage of the investigation.”
On Wednesday, Lancashire Police released a statement claiming that Bulley had “some significant issues with alcohol” and “ongoing struggles with the menopause.”
Her family said in a statement released via the cops said because of perimenopause she suffered from “brain fog” and “restless sleep.” They also asked for an end to speculation swirling around Bulley’s private life.
The family called her a “wonderful daughter, sister, partner and mother.”
“[Police have been hit with] heavy, and in my view, totally justified criticism,” former victims’ commissioner Dame Vera Baird told the BBC’s Today program. “If it was relevant, it needed to be in a public domain at the start, and it wasn’t.”
Before Bulley disappeared, local cops had been called for a welfare check on January 10. No arrests were made.
After dropping off her two daughters at school, Bulley walked her dog and phoned into a work conference call. The phone was discovered on a park bench still connected to the call.
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