Police constable slams journalist over 'misogynistic' comments about Nicola Bulley detective

Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith of Lancashire Police updates the media in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, as police continue their search for Nicola Bulley, 45, who vanished on January 27 while walking her springer spaniel Willow shortly after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school. Picture date: Wednesday February 15, 2023. PA
Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith is the lead investigator for Lancashire Police on the Nicola Bulley case. Credit: PA / ITV Wales

A police constable has joined others in criticising a tabloid journalist who made remarks about the detective leading the Nicola Bulley investigation.

Amanda Platell, who is columnist at the Daily Mail, posted a photograph of Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith and made comments about her appearance.

In it, she criticises Smith for wearing a "skin tight dress" and "stilettos", eluding to the fact she looks as if she's "auditioning for Love Island".

Nicola Bulley, 45, went missing on 27 January and was last seen on a towpath by the River Wyre in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire.

Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith is the lead investigator for Lancashire Police in the case.

Lancashire Police have been criticised for releasing personal information about Mrs Bulley and the Information Commissioner has said he will be asking the force about its decision to disclose Ms Bulley’s struggles with alcohol and HRT.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman demanded an “explanation” from the force about why it disclosed those details at a press conference on Wednesday which Rebecca Smith was involved in, a source revealed.

Nicola Bulley, 45, was last seen on the morning of January 27 Credit: PA

In the post, Platell says: "Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith at press conference yesterday - skin tight navy dress, stilettos, poker straightened hair - whatever happened to a cop uniform! Or is she auditioning for Love Island for midlifers. Show some respect for a missing mother!"

Her comments have since received backlash from many, including Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Pam Kelly, who responded to Platell's Tweet on social media, saying, "We really need a kinder society".

Her post read: "Saddened to see this..there is a lady missing and her family and wider community are desperate to find her...and here we are again..constantly judging and blaming women in senior police roles....we really need a kinder society...for now and the future."

Another tweet read: "A woman shaming a woman for what she chooses to wear. It's coming from all directions."

Another said: "It's good to see police officers calling out this disgraceful comment about the way a woman is dressed. We all have a part to play."

Head of UK Terrorism Police, Matt Jukes, who is the former Chief Constable of South Wales Police, showed his support for Kelly's Tweet, commenting: "Well said @GP_CCKelly & others calling out this nonsense. Unwarranted & levelled at a professional facing an enormous challenge, striving to bring a family news".

Joyce Watson MS also commented on the post saying, "This is really disappointing."

While Cllr Andrew Morgan commented: "Well said - Shame they didn’t focus on what the officer said rather than what she was wearing!"