A senior police chief has attacked “armchair experts” questioning detectives investigating the disappearance of Nicola Bulley and providing commentary on the case. Sergeant Richard Cooke, head of the West Midlands Police Federation, which represents the officers, said criticism of police officers by experts who constantly questioned their methods was “useless” for detectives who were doing everything they could to find out what happened to the missing mother.
He believes the experts’ theories are hampering the investigation into Nicola’s disappearance, which has baffled detectives. Sergeant Cooke said: “I would like people to leave their colleagues alone to continue the work. If there are any problems with the investigation, it will be known later.”
The mysterious case has captured the nation’s attention, with a number of experts and former detectives joining in to weigh in. Investigators have said they believe Nicola fell into the river while she was walking her dog, but her partner and others have questioned this theory due to the depth of the water and the speed at which she was moving.
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But Sgt Cooke said the constant questioning and commentary would be frustrating for the dedicated team of officers trying to establish what happened to the beloved mother. The experienced officer said most detectives would be inside the “bubble” of the investigation, but outside comments would not go unnoticed.
Sergeant Cooke said: “They’ll find out. A lot of them will just be in the research bubble and not interested in it. A lot of speculation and media focus drags down resources.”
“I find it disrespectful to colleagues in Lancashire. Those officers will be obsessed with getting to the bottom of this and finding out what happened to Nicola.”
“They will have all the resources at their disposal and I urge people to allow them to move forward.” He continued: “People should stop trying to challenge the research. Some of the speculation is very disturbing.”
Lancashire police chiefs have also urged people to stop speculating about what happened, saying the theories of “armchair” detectives were not helping the case.
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