Police searching for Joseph McCann 'make arrest after overnight standoff'

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Picture taken from the Twitter feed of @NPASBarton showing a police helicopter near Congleton as part of the search for Joseph McCann
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Picture taken from the Twitter feed of @NPASBarton showing a police helicopter near Congleton as part of the search for Joseph McCann

Police hunting fugitive Joseph McCann over three rapes have reportedly arrested a man after a standoff with officers overnight.

The suspect reportedly climbed a tree and refused to come down when cornered by police in a rural location near Congleton late on Sunday.

Negotiators along with paramedics were deployed to the scene and the man was eventually taken into custody in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Cheshire town became the focus of a nationwide manhunt for the "extremely dangerous" McCann when two women were forced into a car at around 6.45pm on Sunday evening.

The vehicle made off after it was spotted and pursued by officers, before it hit another car and the driver fled.

Police said the women had been left "extremely shaken" as a result of their ordeal but were unhurt.

Cheshire Constabulary later said officers had tracked down a man wanted in connection with the abductions.

BBC News reported that the suspect was in a tree on Smithy Lane, a country road just outside the town.

Scotland Yard detectives previously launched a hunt for the suspected rapist and kidnapper after he allegedly snatched two women in their 20s off the streets in north London on April 25 in separate incidents.

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

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

The Ministry of Justice launched an urgent review after it emerged McCann may have been wrongly released from prison in February.

He was freed automatically half-way through a three-year sentence for burglary and theft - but should have gone before a parole board, it is understood.

McCann is believed to have been subject to a life-long licence after he was released from prison in February 2017 having served 10 years of an indeterminate sentence for public protection for an aggravated burglary.

Scotland Yard offered a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.