POLICE are carrying out extra patrols and have called for the public's help to catch a pervert who is targeting young girls in North Yorkshire villages.

A ten-year-old girl in Bedale was the first to suffer when a man in square glasses performed a sex act in front of her near a school on Benkhill Drove at 3.30pm yesterday.

Less than 24 hours later, in Catterick, he exposed himself to a young girl. On that occasion, he was driving a black Volkswagen Polo when he stopped beside her at 12.25pm today on Mowbray Road. He has black or dark hair.

Detective Inspector Shaun Page, of Northallerton CID, said: "Thankfully neither of the girls were physically hurt. However, they have quite naturally been left deeply upset by their experiences. “As the description of the suspect and his vehicle match closely, I believe that the same man is responsible for both incidents.

“If you have any information which could assist my inquiries, I urge you to contact the police straight away.” Officers are making extra patrols in both villages to reassure the public.