The National Crime Agency has reportedly removed specialist diver Peter Faulding from its list of experts after his company failed to find Nicola Bulley. The 45-year-old mother was seen by walkers 23 days after she went missing, having last been seen near the River Wyre.
Peter Faulding’s International Specialist Group (SGI), a private group that has assisted in several high-profile investigations, joined the search. Nicola was eventually found in the reeds next to a stretch of river and Mr Faulding has since said that her £55,000 sonar can only scan water and cannot travel through the reeds.
Law enforcement sources now say SGI has been suspended while a review is carried out, the Times reports. SGI was allegedly removed from an official list of experts recommended to assist in investigations in the Expert Advisers database, the Mirror reports.
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A spokesperson for the National Crime Agency told the publication that it “does not employ, endorse or accredit experts” in its database of advisers. A spokesperson continued: “The database is subject to continual review and its purpose is to maintain a list of expertise that UK law enforcement can call upon when necessary.
“We proactively seek client feedback on expert performance and contribution. Performance monitoring applies equally to individuals and organizations engaging in investigations without NCA involvement.”
Peter Faulding has not commented on the reports that it was removed from the NCA database, but previously said: “A riverbank and fording search would be the only way to search this area and we were not involved. nor those in charge of that search. The difference between these two search areas has caused a lot of confusion and unfair criticism of me and my team at Specialist Group International (SGI).” The Mirror Online has contacted SGI for comment.