POLICE are appealing to the public to help identify a man who broke into two houses in Bovington while the occupants were sleeping.

In the first house, he entered a child's bedroom but was scared off when the child woke up and kicked out at him.

He then entered another house but was disturbed by the occupants and ran off.

Officers have now released an e-fit image of the suspect in a bid to try and trace him, and police patrols have been increased in the area.

It is believed that on the night the break-ins occurred, a house party was taking place nearby.

The incidents took place between 2.30am and 3.30am last Friday, August 21 when the offender gained entry to two separate addresses in the Andover Green area.

Nothing was taken from the properties and no injuries were sustained. Police are still trying to establish exactly what the man’s intentions were.

The offender is described as being in his late teens or early 20s, and may have injuries consistent with a kick to the face or shoulder.

Detective Constable Nick Gravenor, of Western CID, said: “We are carrying out an investigation to determine who the offender is and what he was doing in the victims’ homes.

“Following further enquiries we are able to release more details about the incident and this e-fit image.

“I would like to hear from anyone who recognises, or thinks they be able to help identify, the suspect. I am aware of a house party that took place in the area which a number of people attended.

“I would also like to mention how incredibly brave the child was, particularly under the circumstances.”

DC Gravenor appealed directly to guests of the house party to get in touch with him personally if they noticed anyone acting suspiciously.

He added: “Residents are urged to remain vigilant, ensure their properties are secure at all times, and report any unusual behaviour to us immediately.

“While these incidents are concerning, I would like to reassure members of the community that extra patrols have been put in place in this area for their safety and peace of mind.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident number 21:77.

Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.