Joseph McCann: Man held following 'standoff with police’ after two more women kidnapped

Man secured in rural area ‘talking to trained negotiators’, police say

Police identify suspect accused of abducting and raping two women in London

Police hunting fugitive Joseph McCann, who is wanted in connection with the abduction and “horrific” rapes of three women in and around London, have arrested a man following a standoff in Congleton, Cheshire.

The man was located in a rural area after the abduction of two more women at knifepoint, and was taken into custody in the early hours of Monday morning.

Cheshire Constabulary warned there was an "increased police presence" in the area as a tree on Smithy Lane outside Congleton became the centre of a nationwide manhunt. The force said earlier that paramedics and trained negotiators were on the scene after the suspect climbed a tree and refused to come down.

McCann was being hunted for the abduction and “horrific’’ rapes of three women and is believed to be connected to the abduction of two other women in Congleton, Cheshire on Sunday evening, police have said.

The pair were forced into a black Fiat Punto in Congleton town centre at 6.45pm on Sunday.

The vehicle was spotted by officers and, following a short pursuit, stopped on Oblisque Way after colliding with another car.

The driver fled the scene on foot, leaving behind the two women.

A police spokesperson said the women were not injured during the ordeal.

Scotland Yard detectives previously launched a manhunt for the suspected rapist and kidnapper after he allegedly snatched and raped two women in their twenties off the streets in north London on 25 April.

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He is also suspected of abducting and raping a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint in Watford in the early hours of 21 April.

Officers believe McCann was being hidden by a friend or family member.

Detectives have previously said the 34-year-old is “extremely dangerous” and offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.

McCann was released from prison in February, halfway through a three-year sentence for burglary and theft.

On Wednesday the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said it had launched an inquiry into whether he had in fact been freed from jail by mistake.

He should have been referred to the Parole Board before his release but was not, the MOJ confirmed.

Additional reporting by agencies

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or 999 quoting CAD 3041/25Apr. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you have been affected by sexual violence, you can find help via the NHS. Rape Crisis offers specialist support for women and girls; and The Survivors Trust supports people of any gender.

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