Nicola Bulley: Lancashire Police refer themselves to watchdog

The force were called to Nicola Bulley's home on January 10, 17 days before Nicola disappeared.

Lancashire Police have referred themselves to a watchdog following a visit to Nicola Bulley's house prior to her disappearance.

The force were called to the mother of two's home on January 10, 17 days before Nicola disappeared.

A response car staffed by both police and health professionals attended a report of concern for welfare at Nicola’s home address.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said in a statement: "This afternoon we received a referral from Lancashire Constabulary regarding contact the force had with Nicola Bulley on 10 January prior to her dissapearance."

"We are assessing the available information to determine whether an investigation into that contact may be required and if so, who should conduct that investigation."

The referral comes after Ms Bulley's family called for an end to the "speculation and rumours" around her private life.

In a press conference yesterday, police described Nicola as "high risk" with "specific vulnerabilities".

They later added it was down to "significant issues with alcohol" and her struggles with menopause.

Many have reacted by criticising the police for oversharing the details and not prioritising the family of the missing mother.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with Nicola Bulley’s family at this incredibly difficult time.

"The Home Secretary and Policing Minister are receiving regular updates from Lancashire Police on its handling of this case, including why personal details about Nicola was briefed out at this stage of the investigation.”