PCSO Julia James: Police carry out road checks in hunt for witnesses

4 May 2021, 16:17 | Updated: 4 May 2021, 16:18

Police are hunting for witnesses following the death of PCSO Julia James
Police are hunting for witnesses following the death of PCSO Julia James. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Road checks are being carried out by police investigating the death of PCSO Julia James in the hope of finding more witnesses.

The 53-year-old's body was found in Akholt Wood, close to her home in the village of Snowdown near Dover in Kent, last Tuesday.

Kent Police said checks would be carried out in the area between 12.30pm and 6.30pm on Tuesday to enable officers to speak to anyone who has not already come forward.

READ MORE: Uncle of killed PCSO makes emotional plea for help finding killer

READ MORE: PCSO Julia James died from 'blunt trauma' to the head, police confirm

Ms James, described as "fiercely loyal" by her family, died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog.

A local police chief has assured the community that "some of the very best detectives in the land" are working to bring her killer to justice.

Her daughter Bethan Coles has asked people to leave candles on their doorsteps on Tuesday evening as a "beautiful nod" to the popular PSCO.

Two police officers lay floral tributes in a park in Aylesham village close to where Ms James was found
Two police officers lay floral tributes in a park in Aylesham village close to where Ms James was found. Picture: PA

In a Facebook post, Ms Coles said: "A number of people have asked about holding a vigil for Mum, and whilst I am so grateful for people wanting to remember her, I am very conscious that any gathering would need to be policed (if it was even allowed).

"I've discussed this with my family and we are in agreement that we would prefer all police resources to be concentrating on the investigation as there is so much work to be done."

Instead, she suggested people wishing to remember her mother should light a candle for her and leave it on their doorstep.

She added: "This would be a beautiful nod to Mum in a way that doesn't intrude on the police investigation."

I’m so grateful for people sharing posts for #justiceforjulia A number of people have asked about holding a vigil for...

Posted by Bethan Coles on Monday, May 3, 2021

A minute's silence in Ms James's memory was observed by officers and staff from across Kent Police at 2.30pm.

Police in Dover have urged members of the public to be "cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings" while out and about.

At a press conference on Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards declined to rule out that Ms James was killed by a stranger, someone she came across during her work, someone trying to steal her dog, or as part of a sexual assault.

Mr Richards would not comment on any potential murder weapon and also declined to say whether detectives had found signs of a struggle.

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