The police said Nicola Bulley was at risk because of the menopause

The treatment of Nicola Bulley’s case shows how the police are incompetent. It also highlights how sexism is ingrained into the institution. Nicola vanished on 27 January by St Michael’s-on-Wyre in Lancashire while walking her dog. A body was found last Sunday morning by a passer-by and hadn’t been identified as Socialist Worker went to press.

Lancashire police’s “working hypothesis” was that Nicola had fallen into the river. But police divers and drones, and a private contractor, failed to find any trace of her. Then last Wednesday at a press conference cops put Nicola in the high risk category—meaning she was at risk of coming to serious harm due to “individual vulnerabilities”.

Shockingly, they revealed that she had “some significant issues with alcohol” stemming from “ongoing struggles with the menopause”. The release of personal health information shows the lack of regard cops have for the privacy and lives of women.

Police defended themselves by claiming they issued details “to avoid any further speculation”.  It’s not a shock that ordinary people don’t have faith in the police. Recent high profile cases show how cops have botched or covered up their failings during investigations.

It took 23 days for what’s suspected to be Nicola’s body to be found—by a member of the public. It’s still not clear what happened to Nicola. 

But the deliberate inference that being drunk or menopausal caused her to fall into the river is a sure sign that police have little care for the lives or safety of women.

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