Thursday, 18 Jul 2024

Ex-Cop says ‘rare’ for officers to revisit Nicola Bulley scene

A former detective from the Metropolitan Police has expressed astonishment as police divers revisited the river where Nicola Bulley’s body had been discovered. Recorded footage showed specialists in the River Wyre in Lancashire, located just a short distance from the bank where the mother of two had gone missing on January 27, leading to a lengthy 23-day search operation. 

Dr James Adeley, Senior Coroner for Lancashire, has requested Lancashire Police to conduct further investigative work in the water to ascertain the cause of Nicola Bulley’s death and gather information about the events leading up to her discovery in the reeds on February 20.

Former Scotland Yard detective Peter Bleksley referred to the recent development as “unusual.”

In an interview with MailOnline, he stated: “It’s quite common for the CPS in a complex case to send police officers to interview a witness, but it’s extremely rare for forensic officers to be sent to a scene twice.

“The police only ever get one chance to get it right.”

Video footage captured at the location reveals divers conducting operations in the Wyre river close to its weir on Tuesday.

Mr Bleksley, known for his appearance on the Channel 4 show Hunted, commented that the images were not favourable for the police, stating, it was “not a great look”.

He said: “Here they are, many weeks after Nicola’s body was found by a member of the public – not the police – and they’re back there again at the behest or instructions of the coroner.

“Throughout the hunt for Nicola Bulley, in my opinion, Lancashire Police got the messaging very wrong and now the imagery is not great.”

He added: “How thorough, how professional, how good were the initial searches?

“Clearly the coroner has questions of the police, hence these specialists are back trying to find something that they manifestly didn’t find all those weeks ago.

“I strongly suspect the police want to avoid the embarrassment of an angler or member of the public finding something they didn’t find. Just like what happened with the body.”

Ms Bulley vanished while walking her dog along the River Wyre after dropping her daughters, aged six and nine, at school, sparking a huge search operation and intense media and public interest.

Her body was found in the river 23 days after she went missing, around a mile farther downstream from the bench on February 19.

Police divers were spotted in the River Wyre on April 4 and a brief clip was uploaded to YouTube.

Lancashire Police said in a statement: “We can confirm we are carrying out some work on the direction of HM coroner.”

An inquest into Ms Bulley’s death is to be held on June 26.

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