Breaking KENT

Drivers urged to share dashcam footage in Julia James murder enquiry

Members of the public who have dashcam footage from several key streets in the week leading up to the death of PCSO Julia James are being urged to contact Kent Police.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are specifically seeking footage that was captured in Aylesham between Tuesday 20 April and Tuesday 27 April 2021 by anyone travelling in Adisham Road, Dorman Avenue North, Cooting Road and Spinney Lane.

Investigation
Julia, aged 53, was found deceased next to Ackholt Wood in Snowdown just before 4pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021. She had suffered head injuries whilst walking her dog Toby near to the wood.

Callum Wheeler, 21, from Aylesham has been charged with Julia’s murder and is due to go on trial on Monday 29 November 2021.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said:

‘Whilst a man has been charged, we still have a responsibility to complete all relevant lines of enquiry and encourage people to come forward with further information, no matter how small, which could still assist in this case.

‘The reconstruction we carried out of Julia’s movements that day resulted in a number of additional calls and I now urge people to consider whether they might have travelled along any of these streets in the week leading up to Julia’s death and submit any video footage to us as soon as possible.’

Community spirit
Detectives in this case have been assessing around 1,500 pieces of information provided by the public over the past few weeks and officers have visited around 2,000 homes during their house-to-house enquiries in the local area. Specialist teams have carried out extensive searches of the crime scene and surrounding rural areas, including fingertip searches of the fields near to where Julia was found.

Whilst the local community will start to see less police officers conducting door-to-door calls and the search teams conclude their work, the community are being reassured that Kent Police is still here to support them.

ACC Richards added:

‘We are all extremely grateful to the local community who have supported Kent Police throughout this investigation.

‘Not just those who have provided information to us over the past few weeks but to those who have taken the time to support our officers on the ground with offers of food and drink as well as the use of the community centre.

‘Some may have found our presence and the circumstances of Julia’s death unsettling but I would like to state publicly Kent Police’s gratitude for the patience and understanding of local residents who have welcomed officers into their communities. Their support has been a great source of strength to everyone working on this enquiry.

‘As this investigation progresses, and our patrols in the area start to return to normal levels, we won’t forget the support that has been provided to us and I want people to know that we are still here to support them.’

Get in touch
Drop-in centres represented by a number of partner agencies are still available for anyone to attend to receive help and support.

Anyone who has not come forward with information and who may have something to tell us can call 0800 0514 526. Motorists with dashcam footage can submit it online at Kent police website.

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