A police watchdog has "made contact" with Lancashire Constabulary after information about missing Nicola Bulley's private life was made public.
Ms Bulley, 45, vanished while walking her dog in St Michaels on Wyre, Lancashire, on the morning of January 27.
The mum-of-two is thought to have approached the river and possibly fallen in, with the manhunt now extending as far as Morecambe and Fleetwood.
READ MORE: Nicola Bulley's family admit mum was suffering 'brain fog' as they slam 'wild theories'
Lancashire Police have been repeatedly criticised for their handling of the case after they failed to sufficiently cordon off the area and took nine days to call in a key witness.
And in a press conference yesterday (February 15), Superintendent Rebecca Smith revealed Ms Bulley was immediately deemed "high risk" when she was reported missing thanks to matters in her personal life, but refused to go into further detail.
However, it was revealed just hours later that Ms Bulley had been going through menopause and battling alcohol issues at the time of her disappearance.
Following the revelation, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said they had made contact with the over the release of the information.
Nicola Bulley police correct to think she was in river with info they had, says ex-cop
"Following information that was made public by Lancashire Constabulary yesterday, we have made contact with the force to determine if a referral to the IOPC may be required," a spokesperson for the police watchdog said in a statement.
The IOPC aren't the only ones concerned about the release of the information, which came more than 20 days after Ms Bulley was initially reported missing.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns also slammed the decision, writing: "I am deeply uncomfortable with the police releasing Nicola Bulley's so-called 'vulnerabilities' on menopause and alcohol.
"I struggle to ascertain how this will assist Police in their search and investigations.
"I do see how it would assist those wishing to victim-blame or diminish."
Meanwhile, journalist Petronella Wyatt tweeted: "The Lancashire Police have just clarified, saying Nicola Bulley had 'issues with alcohol' brought on by the menopause.
"This is horrible, should not have been made public, and certainly doesn’t mean there was no one else involved," she added.
"Police making excuses for their incompetence."
The search for Ms Bulley continues.
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