Around 30 people have taken part in a march through Newport, calling on police to expand their search for missing Islander Damien Nettles.

Damien was 16 when he went missing after a night out with friends in Cowes in November 1996.

Saturday’s march saw campaigners walk from Cineworld, up through South Street, along St James’ Street and down the middle of the High Street.

The peaceful protest culminated at Newport police station where campaigners remained for a short time.

Organiser Kayley Hall, whose partner was good friends with Damien, told IW Radio she hoped the march would raise awareness and encourage more support: “I would have liked more, but hopefully more will join us en route, but I know the weather is cold and I think that has put people off. But I am very grateful to everybody that has turned up.

“This isn’t going to stop, this is just the beginning. We’ve got rallies planned in the New Year, petitions and we’ll take it as far as we need to take it,” she added.

Others joining the march spoke to Isle of Wight Radio – one man said: “I think it’s disgusting that the family haven’t had answers and I feel they should have the right to dig up the forest. It’s only since I’ve become a parent myself that I think they need answers.”

Another campaigner said: “I think anyone that’s a parent should turn out for this because it could have been any of our children. If it was my son I would want to know what had happened.”

And another added: “The police are our servants and should be doing their duty. I’m a parent as well, I don’t the family, but I can’t imagine not knowing what’s happened to your son – it’s terrible!”

In a statment, police said: “Hampshire Constabulary is grateful for the public’s continued interest and support for our efforts to find out what happened to Damien Nettles.

“Detectives are determined to solve this case with the help of the community. 

“The crucial challenge in this case is separating fact from fiction.

“Only facts will allow our enquiries to locate Damien and the ultimate answers sought by police and the Nettles family.”

A reward of £20,000, funded by Hampshire Constabulary, remains on offer until the start of April 2013 for information leading to the location of Damien Nettles.

Full terms and conditions can be requested by phoning police on 101 or going online to