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Kent begins murder investigation after death of PCSO

Kent detectives are investigating the murder of an award-winning PCSO.

Kent Police has begun an investigation after the body of a serving PCSO was found on a footpath near the village where she lived.

The force has confirmed it is treating the death of Julia James as murder.

Forensic teams have begun a search at the site in Snowdown near Canterbury where Mrs James, 53, was discovered yesterday shortly after 4pm.

Mrs James lived in the village.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: "Officers are carrying out a number of lines of enquiry to establish the circumstances and people in the Snowdown area will see an increased police presence as a result.

"It saddens me to confirm that the victim was a serving PCSO for Kent Police and while there is a full and thorough investigation underway our thoughts also remain with her family, friends and colleagues.”

The force is appealing to residents and regular visitors to the area to share CCTV and dashcam footage with the force.

ACC Richards said; “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 anyone in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established."

The mother of two became a PCSO in 2007 and had won an award for bravery and good work.

She was commended along with a colleague in 2010 for chasing and stopping a shoplifter which enabled the recovery of £200 worth of goods.

Kent’s Federation shared its message of condolence on social media: “Very sad news today as Kent Police confirms the death of PCSO Julia James.

"The thoughts of Kent Police Federation and our members are with Julia’s family, friends and close colleagues at this sad and difficult time.”

Police Federation Chair John Apter said: "Heartbreaking news from Kent. Thoughts are with Julia’s family, friends and all her colleagues."

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