'Inspirational' top detective leading the Nicola Bulley search
‘Inspirational’ top detective leading the Nicola Bulley search investigation boasts an exemplary track record that sees her compared to a real-life Jane Tennison
- Superintendent Rebecca Smith has racked up an impressive record
- Epithets frequently applied to the mother-of-two include ‘first class’
- She was instrumental in the capture and jailing for life of a Blackpool paedophile
Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith, the 51-year-old leading the investigation into Nicola Bulley’s disappearance, is described as a ‘damn fine copper’ and role model.
During her four-decade-long career with Lancashire Police, she has racked up an impressive record in cracking difficult cases, including the defeat of several organised crime gangs.
Epithets frequently applied to the mother-of-two are ‘inspirational’ and ‘first class’.
‘Think of her as a real-life Jane Tennison from ITV’s Prime Suspect – but not nearly as hard-edged,’ said another of her colleagues.
However, she does share the fictional detective’s cutting humour. Asked a question during a press conference about Nicola’s dog, who was with the 45-year-old when she was last seen walking by a river, Det Supt Smith replied: ‘Obviously I can’t speak to the dog!’
First Class: Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith at a police press conference last week
Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith, the 51-year-old leading the investigation into Nicola Bulley’s disappearance, is described as a ‘damn fine copper’
Growing up in Liverpool with three brothers, she learned to use humour as a shield. ‘And she could give as good as she got,’ said a friend. It also came in handy when she joined Lancashire Police nearly 30 years ago.
Policing then was not nearly so progressive as now and at least some of the sexism endured by DCI Tennison would have been familiar to the young beat officer.
During her career, she was instrumental in the capture and jailing for life of a paedophile who murdered a 15-year-old girl from Blackpool who went missing in 2007.
A colleague said: ‘All the plaudits went to the senior investigating officer but Becky Smith was the document-reader – she read every piece of information, every statement, every document and she put that case together.’
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