Kent: Serving PCSO Julia James was murdered, police say

A serving police community support officer (PCSO) found dead at a remote spot in Kent was murdered, police have said.

Officers were called shortly after 4pm on Tuesday to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown, where Julia James’s body was discovered.

Ms James, 53, lived in Snowdown – a tiny hamlet – with her husband.

A police officer was seen standing guard outside their home, while another officer was in the garden.

A white forensic tent was a short distance away in a field.

No arrests have yet been made as inquiries continue, Kent Police said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted her "sincere condolences".

Local resident John Miller, 72, said it was difficult to believe what had happened and "everyone feels safe round here".

He added: "(I’m) gutted, gutted for the family, and whoever it is I hope they catch them and they get put away for life."

He said he knew Ms James’s family, describing them as "very close", and said what happened was a "hell of a loss".

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said there were a "number of lines of inquiry".

He continued: "It is vitally important that anyone who was in the area on Monday and Tuesday who may have seen something suspicious gets in touch with us.

"We’re particularly keen to speak to those who regularly visit the area who may have seen something out of place and those who drove by who have dashcam footage.

"We would advise people in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established."

Snowdown, near Aylesham, features around 54 houses and was one of the four chief collieries of the Kent coalfield, which closed in 1987.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Video footage can be submitted online at

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