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The government has reportedly demanded that police hunting for Nicola Bulley explain their decision to release information about the missing mum's personal life.
Lancashire Police have been criticised after saying yesterday (Wednesday, February 15) that Nicola was considered a high-risk missing person from the very beginning because of a "number of specific vulnerabilities".
They followed that up with a statement revealing they visited Nicola's home just 17 days before she went missing following a "report of concern for welfare".
READ MORE: Forensic expert in Nicola Bulley case blasts police update that 'changes everything'
The visit came "as a result" of "significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause", police said.
Former police officers and current MPs have been among those critical of Lancashire Police releasing personal information about Nicola.
Now, the Home Office are said to be wanting an explanation from the force.
This afternoon (Thursday, February 16) LBC presenter Ben Kentish tweeted: "EXCL: The Home Office has demanded an explanation from Lancashire Police over the decision to release personal details about Nicola Bulley yesterday."
Discussing the police's handling of the case, former Metropolitan Police Detective Peter Bleksley told Talk TV yesterday: "In terms of communicating with the public and the media, Lancashire Constabulary have got this catastrophically wrong.
"Today isn't just the first occasion when they've tired to suppress speculation, when all they've done is fuel it.
"This case will be remembered for years. It will be used on senior officer training courses as the finest example of how not to communicate."
Tory MP Alicia Kearns tweeted: "I am deeply uncomfortable with the police releasing Nicola Bulley’s so-called 'vulnerabilities' on menopause & alcohol.
"I struggle to ascertain how this will assist Police in their search & investigations. I do see how it would assist those wishing to victim-blame or diminish."
Labour's Stella Creasy tweeted: "The decision to disclose this level of detail on a missing person’s private life, with no evidence that this is assisting in finding her, is deeply troubling.
"The police need to be much clearer as to why any of this helps find Nicola Bulley or support this investigation."
Explaining their decision, Lancashire Police said: "It is an unusual step for us to take to go into this level of detail about someone’s private life, but we felt it was important to clarify what we meant when we talked about vulnerabilities to avoid any further speculation or misinterpretation.
"We have explained to Nicola’s family why we have released this further information and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."
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