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Cop launch new appeal to identify flasher behind 29 incidents

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Detectives have appealed for help in identifying a sex offender who exposed himself to women outside their homes over a four-year period.

Dorset Police have received 29 reports - 16 involving identical methods - of the man exposing himself to victims in the Dorchester area.

Victims have described how the man knocked on a door or window of their home when it was dark and a light was on inside.

The man, who covered his face with a scarf, balaclava or hooded top, then stood naked near the victim's home and committed an act of gross indecency.

He specifically targeted apparently lone women aged in their 40s, 50s and 60s and made no attempt to approach or speak to them.

No similar offences have been reported since November 2016 but police are concerned the behaviour could escalate to a physical or sexual assault.

The case was featured on the BBC Crimewatch Roadshow on Wednesday in a bid to identify the man behind the offences.

Detective Constable Gerald Marchant, of Dorset Police, said the investigation is focused on a single suspect but officers cannot rule out that more than one person is responsible.

"These are serious offences and the victims have been left understandably shaken and upset about being targeted in their own homes," he said.

"While we have not had any similar offences reported since November 2016 this does not mean our investigation has concluded.

"There is a concern that his behaviour may escalate to a physical or sexual assault on an individual and therefore efforts must be made to identify the person responsible."

The offences occurred between 8.26pm to 7.54am in the hours of darkness between February 2012 and November 2016 - but not at weekends.

Locations included the Fordington area, known locally as Fordington Fields, Charminster, Charlton Down and Puddletown.

The offender is described as white, aged between 30 and 50, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 9in and of medium to stocky build with dark hair.

His head and face was covered and he was naked from the waist down.

Police have made a number of arrests in connection with the offences but the individuals were released without charge and the culprit remains outstanding.

One victim, who has lived in the Fordington Fields area for 20 years, discovered the man outside her home at 5.15am on July 9 in 2015.

"At first I thought it was a friend looking for a lift to work, but when I got up and walked toward the window, I saw a man outside performing an indecent act," she said.

"It was July but he was wearing a big coat which he used to cover much of his face. I just viewed him from the window.

"My first reaction was to get out of his sight and I went straight upstairs and called the police. I felt very, very frightened. I was worried about what was going to happen to me."

Following the incident the woman, in her 50s, has also seen a man outside her house with a torch, insulting symbols and words drawn on the frosted windscreen of her car and a man stood by her fence.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police or Crimestoppers