Published: 20:21, 04 May 2021
| Updated: 21:18, 04 May 2021
Boris Johnson has paid tribute to murdered PCSO Julia James - as residents left lit candles outside their homes to remember the popular grandmother.
She asked for the event to take place instead of a vigil to help remember the mum-of two - seven days after she was found dead on the edge of woodland near her home.
And tonight the Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid his respects to Mrs James.
He said: "Tonight we remember PCSO Julia James.
"My thoughts are with her friends and family."
In a post that was liked and shared thousands of times on Facebook, Mrs Coles said she and the rest of her family decided against having a gathering because it would have to be policed.
She noted that they wanted police resources to be concentrated on the investigation "as there is so much work to be done".
One woman, who did not want to be named, left lit candles in lanterns outside her home in Snowdown.
"It's such an awful situation," she told KentOnline.
"We want to show our support for the family."
Candles were also lit for Mrs James on doorsteps in neighbouring Aylesham.
Pensioner Duncan Falconer, of Dorman Avenue South, said: "I lit my candle out respect to Julia. I know the family well and she was a lovely girl.
"What has happened has been a tragedy for the people of this village and the people who knew her well."
Floral tributes have also been left in the village square, Market Place.
Mrs James was found dead with serious injuries on the edge of Ackholt Wood in Snowdown shortly after 4pm last Tuesday, with her Jack Russell Toby unharmed by her side.
She had been out walking the dog along a track when she was attacked, suffering fatal blunt force injuries.
No arrests have been made and no has been suspect identified.
Police chiefs have since advised the public to keep their phones on them when they head out for walks.
Dover Chief Inspector Dab Carter said: "We understand if people are feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety following the death of PCSO Julia James in Snowdown.
"Remain cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings when you are out and about.
"Remember to keep your phone on you and charged, plan your route and tell someone where you are going and how long you will be".
Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards revealed at a press conference last week that police are leaving open the possibility Mrs James was attacked by a complete stranger, despite stressing such cases were extremely rare.
He also said the suspect may have met Mrs James – who previously worked in Ashford and Tenterden – through her job.
Anyone who was in the area last Monday and Tuesday and may have seen something suspicious is urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526.
Anyone with video footage can submit it online here.
You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.