Imagine the intense heartache of your child going missing, knowing that there are people who are fully aware of what happened and how, yet 21 years later you still haven’t found your child or been able to lay their body to rest.
That’s exactly what the family of Damien Nettles – the Isle of Wight teenager who went missing after a night out in Cowes – have been living through for over two decades.
Young males continue to go under the radar in missing person cases and Damien’s mother, Valerie, has been calling for a number of changes to be made to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Manual of Guidance.
Now, Islanders who have signed the petition calling for the introduction of Damien’s Law, are being urged to write to Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, calling for his support.
Val knows that the introduction of the law won’t necessarily help in securing any convictions in her son’s case, but it will help other families who find themselves in the same unfortunate situation.
The online petition she created has attracted several high profile supporters, including the Home Office and acclaimed criminologists and forensic psychologists who participate in TV and media documentaries.
Write to your MP
Valerie is now urging Islanders to write to the MP. She says,
“We have received a response from the Home Office Safeguarding Unit, wishing us good luck with our campaign. They have assured us that improving missing persons guidelines is of utmost importance to them.
“Missing People charity are now supporting Damien’s Law through their media team. In recent weeks, we have also gained support from professional criminologists, forensic psychologists and TV personalities.
“We are delighted to also have Charlie Hedges MBE onboard, who is acknowledged as one of the UK’s acclaimed experts on missing persons, particularly children and those who are abducted and trafficked. We fully support his vision of a Centre of Expertise to be applied to practice, that will be a focal point for long term missing with delivery of specialised training.
“If you feel strongly that our manifesto would make an improvement, please feel free to write to your own MP (you can do it here).
“Thank you again for your support, it means a lot. Kind regards, Valerie”
Visit the petition site for a suggested wording of your letter. You can also sign the petition whilst there if you haven’t already.
No response from IW MP
Those campaigning for Damien’s Law tell OnTheWight that despite contact through various means they have not received any support from Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely.
For more information on Damien’s Case visit the Damien Nettles Facebook Page.