The prolonged heartache of the family of missing Isle of Wight teenager, Damien Nettles, was featured in a Daily Mirror special at the weekend.
An interview with Damien’s mother, Valerie, highlights the campaign for the introduction of a police Centre of Excellence in relation to missing people.
The article explains the campaign has the support of Labour MP for Stockport, Ann Coffey. She said,
“We desperately need to have a centre which can bring together knowledge and expertise on people who go missing.”
Valerie is working with Charlie Hedges MBE, of Charlie Hedges Advisory, who is working to secure funding for a Centre for Expertise in Missing Persons (CEMP) complimenting existing organizations with a broad focus on missing issues.
The aim is to provide specialised training, a focus on long term cases, maximising the outcomes and application of research, hopefully providing some light on issues where cases went wrong and applying lessons learned.
Damien’s case “just a box on the shelf”
The Mirror/Sunday People article explains that Val believes Damien’s case is “is just a box on the shelf”, despite Hampshire police insisting the case is still open.
It goes on to say his family suspect he was killed and buried on the Island by a drug dealer, who has since died.
Val told the paper,
“I need to do something for Damien, for this not to have happened for nothing and to stop this happening again.
“I can’t bear not knowing how he passed and wondering if he was calling for mum or dad. I just need to know what happened. Even the gory details.”
More details about Damien’s disappearance can be found in the eight-part BBC mini-series Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared.
Missing People charity carol service
Last week, alongside the likes of Sir Trevor McDonald OBE, Valerie was guest speaker at a carol service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, to remember the missing.
Read the Mirror article in full.
Additional information about the campaign added.
Image: © Missing People