Lancashire Constabulary will face independent review into Nicola Bulley investigation

  • Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire announcing the review

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner says there will be a “full, independent review” into the handling of the investigation of Nicola Bulley’s disappearance. 

Andrew Snowden held an extraordinary Accountability Board on Tuesday 21 February 2023 to inform the constabulary of intent to commission this review. 

He has commissioned the College of Policing to undertake a full independent review, alongside the scrutiny  from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the Coronial Process. 

The review will have three clear areas of focus; investigation and search, communication and public engagement, and the releasing of personal information.

Lancashire Police has said it "welcomes the independent review that the Police and Crime Commissioner has asked the College of Policing to conduct" its handling of the Nicola Bulley case.

  • Andrew Snowden says the Police's messages "didn't get through"

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, which need to be answered and explained.

"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."

  • Andrew Snowden speaking about the release of the details of Nicola's "vulnerabilities"

The case attracted unprecedented amounts of attention in the media and online and Lancashire Police received criticism for their release of private details about the mother of two.

"Given the amount of misinformation on social media, poorly informed opinions given national airtime, the attacks on senior leaders personal appearance and family lives, along with the intrusion into the privacy of Nicola's family, it is important that a professional, thorough, and informed review is undertaken by a national independent body, with the right skills and resources, understanding of the current standards and access to the investigation information," Commissioner Snowden said.