22nd November 2023

Lessons to be learned following review of police investigation into Nicola Bulley case

By Sarah Daniel

The tragic death of Nicola Bulley highlighted the role played by the police and the media in the intrusion into individuals’ private lives. The disclosure by the Lancashire Police of private information about Nicola’s personal struggles was widely criticised at the time.

An independent review by the College of Policing into the police’s investigation, commissioned by Andrew Snowden (Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner), found that whilst the release of personal information about Nicola by the police was lawful, “the release of personal details regarding Nicola was avoidable and unnecessary”.  The review also found that the “media handling and communication of information to the public… led to a breakdown of public confidence”.

The review provides clear lessons for the police including the need to consider whether disclosure of private information is necessary in the context of the specific investigation. It also serves as a reminder that whilst disclosure of private information may not be illegal, intrusions into an individual’s private life may still be unwarranted and may give rise to a privacy claim.

Hamlins’ Media Disputes department is one of the largest and most successful Media Disputes teams in the UK and is widely recognised as an advisor of choice for both public and private figures seeking advice in relation to defamation, reputation management, pre-publication libel and privacy law. If you would like to find out more about how Hamlins can help you, please get in touch.

Lessons to be learned following review of police investigation into Nicola Bulley case

Have a question? Contact Sarah

Have a question? Contact Sarah


New message for


    We will only use this email to contact you regarding your enquiry. We will not pass this on to any 3rd parties. See our privacy policy.