A scheme offering free security measures to elderly residents has been expanded to the wider Lowestoft area, after an 82-year-old woman died following a masked robbery at her home.

With a landscaping company starting an initiative to provide free door chains to concerned residents in Pakefield after the death of Joy Middleditch, the scheme is now being offered to elderly people across Lowestoft.

Lowestoft Journal: The service is being expanded across Lowestoft. Picture: NewsquestThe service is being expanded across Lowestoft. Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

It comes as police said "post-mortem examinations are ongoing" with the cause of death having not yet been established.

Two masked robbers forced their way into Mrs Middleditch's home and knocked her to the ground, before stealing her handbag and fleeing.

The masked men left her injured and "helpless on the floor" of her bungalow on Grayson Avenue in Pakefield, Lowestoft at some point overnight between Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25.

Mrs Middleditch was found lying on the floor by her family, injured but conscious, on March 25 but a murder investigation was launched after she died at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston in the early hours of Monday, March 27.

Now, two months on, and with the cause of death having not yet been established, witnesses, CCTV footage and anyone with doorbell cameras in the Pakefield area are sought amid the ongoing murder probe.

Lowestoft Journal: Floral tributes left after the death of Joy Middleditch. Picture: Denise BradleyFloral tributes left after the death of Joy Middleditch. Picture: Denise Bradley (Image: Denise Bradley)

Police said this week that "post-mortem examinations are ongoing."

Two teenage boys - aged 15 and 14 - were arrested on suspicion of murder on Friday, March 31 and later released on bail, pending further enquiries, until June 7.

They remain on bail as investigations continue.

The stolen handbag was later recovered nearby on Nelson Road but, police said, her purse was missing.

Senior officers described the attack as "cowardly".

In heartfelt tributes the family described Mrs Middleditch as a "loving person who was sadly taken from us too soon."

With Spartans Landscaping Services offering free security measures to elderly people in Pakefield after the murder investigation was launched, chains are now being offered to elderly homeowners across Lowestoft to help increase their home security.

Seeing that other older residents across the wider Lowestoft area were also expressing concerns about safety in their homes, East Suffolk Council’s Communities Team has now helped to expand the service to cover the town, as well as Pakefield.

Funded by Lowestoft Rising, the door chains and screws are being supplied by Smith Bros Timber Ltd and can be fitted for free by Spartans Landscaping Services.

Lowestoft Journal: Phil Aves, of Lowestoft RisingPhil Aves, of Lowestoft Rising (Image: Archant)

Phil Aves, from Lowestoft Rising, said: "We know some older people are concerned about their home security following the incident in Pakefield.

"Having seen that a local business was offering to fit door chains for free, we wanted to support this service and help more people to benefit from the scheme.

"We hope that this will help our older and more vulnerable residents to feel more secure in their homes."

Residents can request a door chain by calling Spartans on 07742 139900.

Suffolk Police has a range of home safety advice available online via www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/home-safety.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to Suffolk Police by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Anyone with doorbell cameras or CCTV footage, or any motorists with a dashcam fitted in their vehicle driving in the vicinity of the B1532 London Road in south Lowestoft between 6pm on March 24 and 7am on March 25 is urged to call the Major Investigation Team on 101 quoting the crime reference number 37/17537/23.

As investigations continue, you can also contact the Major Investigation Team via the online portal https://mipp.police.uk/operation/363721O10-PO1.