Armchair detectives

Armchair detectives

Image: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock

THE hunt for missing dog walker and mother of two Nicola Bulley is almost reaching the end of its first month and police are still making repeated calls for “armchair detectives” to stop hindering their investigation.

While interest in true crime has always held a fascination for the UK public, social media and the rise in Netflix cold case documentaries has only helped increase interest.

This poses important questions about the role of the press in solving crimes.  Police have traditionally issued public appeals for information via the press, often with incredible results.

However, when does this go too far?  Rather than providing useful information, in the case of Nicola Bulley many people have used her disappearance as an opportunity to vent their own theories, criticise the police, or even further their own Youtube followings with videos shot from where she is thought to have gone missing.

Police have now issued a rare order preventing the latter behaviour but how much of their time went into following spurious leads and tackling online misinformation rather than trying to find the missing mother?

More importantly even is the effect this has on the families involved, including Nicola¡s small children, who are surely the most innocent victims in this tragic tale.

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