Police hunting PCSO Julia James' killer warn locals to tell family exactly ...

Terrified families living near where PCSO Julia James was brutally bludgeoned to death have been told to tell relatives and friends where they are going and for how long before leaving the house.

They are also being warned to keep phones fully charged and with them at all times while also carefully planning walking routes.

It comes almost a week after Julia, 53, was found dead shortly after 4pm on Tuesday with her loyal Jack Russell by her side.

She had suffered significant head injuries caused by blunt force while walking on a remote bridle path on the edge of Ackholt Woods just a few hundred yards from her home in Snowdown, Kent.

A Kent Police notice posted on Facebook today issuing safety advice said they 'understand if people are feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety' after the murder.

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And it urges locals to 'remain cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings when you are out and about'.

A strong police presence remained in the nearby village of Aylesham, Kent today with PCSOs patrolling the streets.

They have also set up a special blue tent in the historic Market Square for worried residents to speak to officers about their concerns.

Dover Chief Inspector Dan Carter of Kent Police reassured residents 'some of the very best detectives in the land' are trying to catch the killer.

And although 'no arrest has been made; we are not ruling anything out and are open to all possibilities'.

He said in a message to locals: 'As your district commander, I am truly shocked and saddened by the death of PCSO Julia James.

'Julia was well liked and highly respected by her colleagues and members of the public and we are all devastated by what has happened. 

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

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This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

The 53-year-old grandmother was beaten to death while out walking on a path through woodland close to her home in

The 53-year-old grandmother was beaten to death while out walking on a path through woodland close to her home in

Julia James on her wedding day, with her son Patrick (left) and daughter Bethan (right)

Julia James on her day, with her son Patrick (left) and daughter Bethan (right)

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday - her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday - her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

'She will be fondly remembered and missed by all - my thoughts go out to Julia's family and friends and to each and every one of you within the community at this difficult time.

'One of the biggest policing teams I have known, including some of the very best detectives in the land, are working tirelessly, leaving no stone unturned, to bring the offender to justice.

'Working with our partners, the safety of our communities remains our priority and we urge anyone who has concerns to speak with our officers who are out and about in the local community, or contact us.'

An appeal for information says it is 'vitally important' anyone who was in the area on Monday or Tuesday and saw something suspicious, regular walkers of the route who noticed something out of place or drivers who passed with dashcam footage come forward.

A 'significant uniformed presence' will be in the area and surrounding villages throughout the week.

It came after it emerged yesterday local police were aware of a potential dog napping incident which took place weeks before Ms James's death - with some now suggesting the killing could have been a 'dog napping gone wrong'.

The warning, published in a parish magazine, urges dog walkers not to go out alone and even to carry an alarm or walking stick.

Police say the warning was sparked by a report of a suspicious man in a BMW approaching two dog walkers back in March.

The man, thought to be in his 60s, is said to have offered to 'exchange' the pair's dog for cigarettes.

The warning reads: 'Dog owners are warned to be vigilant when your dog is outside the house. Your dog cannot be safely left unsupervised even in your own garden!

'On Tuesday, March 16, two dog-walkers were approached - in broad daylight - by a man in his 60s, from a black BMW in the lanes between Nonington and Aylesham, asking to exchange their pet dog for cigarettes and did they want to get rid of the dog anyway!

'The advice is not to be alone, if possible. Extra precautions should be taken such as walking with a stick, keeping your dog close and on a lead, carrying an alarm and having your mobile phone fully charged.

'Please can you report any such approaches to police, taking careful not of any car number plates and other identifying details.'

Police officers conduct a search in a field not far from Ackholt Wood on Sunday

Police officers conduct a search in a field not far from Ackholt Wood on Sunday 

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday 

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Murdered PCSO Julia James' family including daughter and grandson visit floral tributes 

Murdered PCSO Julia James' family have visited floral tributes as police investigate whether her killing could have had a sexual motive - or if the attack was revenge for her work in stopping domestic violence.

Julia's colleagues yesterday pledged to leave 'no stone unturned' in their hunt for the killer as Kent Police continued to comb woodland.

Meanwhile, Julia's daughter Bethan Coles, son in law Chase Coles and her young grandson Jaxxon visited a commemorative mining wheel memorial which has been covered in floral tributes from locals in Aylesham, Kent.

The group were seen kneeling down, inspecting the flowers and reading the dozens of heartfelt tributes this afternoon.

The Union Flag in the historic Market Square in Aylesham has been lowered to half mast in her honour.

It comes as police confirmed revelations that a flasher had made an indecent exposure weeks before she died from 'blunt force injuries' was 'an important line of enquiry'. 

Aylesham Parish Council chair Mark Townsend brought the flag down at around 2.30pm yesterday.

He said on the village green: 'This is a fitting tribute to someone who has been an enormously valued member of our community.

We've never had anything like this happen here. It's hit this community extremely hard. There's no quick fix to this.

'Hopefully the police will get the perpetrator.'

A blue tent has been erected in the village green as a hub for concerned residents to speak to the police. 

Julia's cousin Sam Griffin simply said 'our family is heartbroken,' in an Instagram tribute.

She wrote: 'My beautiful cousin was brutally taken from us on Tuesday.

'If anyone has any information, no matter how small...please report it to Kent Police.' 

Meanwhile, Julia's uncle Michael Turnbull pleaded for the public's help to 'find this monster before he can cause more grief to another family'.

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Ms James was walking her Jack Russell at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports.

Yesterday a source told the Sun that Ms James's death could have been a dog napping gone 'horribly wrong'.

The source said: 'It's possible the murderer was targeting her dog but it went horribly wrong. 

'The killer is not going to want to take a chipped dog knowing he's just committed a murder.

'He may have panicked and fled, leaving the dog.'

A Kent Police spokesperson told MailOnline: 'We are keeping an open mind in regards to all possible lines of enquiry.' 

It comes after the Mail revealed how a female dog walker was confronted by a prowler in a van one mile away from where Ms James was killed.

The woman is said to have been accosted by a man in a white transit vehicle as she walked along a quiet path in the village of Nonnington, Kent, two weeks ago. 

The dog walker was allegedly pestered by a man in Nonington as she walked her dog. She managed to distract him before fleeing and shouting out for help.

It is also understood PCSOs patrolling the village near Canterbury have warned women out walking their dogs to 'veer from their normal route' and avoid the woodland areas after their colleague's death.

Meanwhile villagers have claimed that there had been a spate of dognapping incidents in the area prior to Ms James's

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