Home Kent News The tiny village ‘shocked and saddened’ by death of PCSO

The tiny village ‘shocked and saddened’ by death of PCSO

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Original article from Kent Live

Neighbours are "shocked" following the death of local resident and PCSO Julia James, who has been described as a "very kind" person.

The news of Julia's death has rocked the normally "quiet" hamlet of Snowdown in Aylesham, with neighbours of the late Kent Police community support officer trying to process the dramatic and tragic events.

The 53-year-old was found dead in the village near Dover yesterday afternoon (April 27). There was a huge police presence in the area from around 4pm, with a tent and cordon swiftly erected.

Now residents of Aylesham have expressed their shock and disbelief at the news of Julia's passing, which police say was under "suspicious" circumstances.

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KentLive spoke with some of the neighbours in the area about the heartache in the community following the tragic discovery of Julia's body.

Leah Southwell, 18, described the scene she saw on Aylesham Road yesterday afternoon.

Leah Southwell, 18, lives on The Crescent in Aylesham

She said: "The whole road was swarmed with police. Last night about 10 o'clock, I looked out my window and there were sirens, blue lights all down my road.

"At around fourish there were two vans, a little van and a squad car, and there was a fire engine as well.

"Nothing ever happens around here. It's just shocking to be honest."

Several police vans and cars have also made their way to the scene today, with many officers still sweeping the area.

PCSO Julia James, 53, was found dead yesterday in Aylesham and police are treating her death as "suspicious"

Another resident, Michael Bates, told KentLive: "It's a very family friendly, close-knit community, everybody tends to look out for everybody else, having children neighbours will be keep a close eye on them.

"To be honest with you I haven't really processed it, obviously we've just found out today. It's a shock.

"She was always friendly, because it is so small everybody is like that."


Five more police cars are seen making their way to the scene this afternoon, they were followed by three unmarked cars

Another Aylesham resident, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 30 years, has described Julia as "very nice" and "very kind".

The 68-year-old said: "She was quiet, kept herself to herself. We'd see her walking in the fields, she'd call me Patrick."

Patrick would see Julia and her husband out and about in the neighbourhood, usually on dog walks.

He described Julia as "very nice, very kind" and said he "cannot understand" what has happened to her.

A tent has been set up in a field near Aylesham Road, nearby the location where the PCSO was found dead

"I'm shocked because I can't believe it. She's just a nice person."

Another couple from the area, who asked not to be named, said: “She’s the same age as our daughter – they went to school together.

“We have known her since she was four years old. She was always friendly – a nice woman.”

The couple added they believe Julia moved to Snowdown around 10 years ago.

They said the tiny hamlet, which is made up of just 54 houses, was usually “quiet”.

“Everyone keeps themselves to themselves, more or less,” they added.

“You pass people, they say hello and that’s it."

'Dreadful news'

Pictures show major police presence in Aylesham after PCSO Julia James is found dead

View gallery

Linda Keen, councillor for Aylesham, Eythorne and Shepherdswell, said Julia's death has shocked and saddened the local community.

She told MirrorOnline: "It's absolutely dreadful news and a tragedy for the woman, her family and the local community who must be in shock.

"This sort of incident is very atypical for Aylesham and doesn't really happen here.

"I'm sure the police will do absolutely everything they can to establish what has happened."

Kent Police is appealing for witnesses who may have more information regarding Julia's death.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video footage can submit it online here.

Original Article