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, Cheshire, 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.

Residents have described how police descended en masse on a rural lane near Congleton after the suspect fled up a tree.

Robert Burns watched the scene unfold after police officers had checked his outbuildings and wheelie bins in search of the suspect.

The 45-year-old said: "I went out to speak to the police. They did a superb job and were very thorough. They made sure the residents were kept informed.

"We watched it all from upstairs. It was a long time, it went on for about three hours.

"It was significant police presence, there were a lot of cars, all of the roads were closed."

Andrew Kidd, 75, who has a farm in Smithy Lane, Congleton, said that at about 8.30pm he was told by police to stay inside his property.

"They told me there is a very violent person about who has absconded and he's very dangerous so go inside, lock your doors and don't come out," he said.

"There were three or four police officers in my yard and they were looking up and down, looking in the trees.

"I saw police running along the fence in a neighbouring field and the lane was full of police cars.

"The helicopter was round and my cows were stampeding because they were upset by the noise of it.

"They found him over the field where there's a ravine and a wooded area. He must have ran across the field to get there because the footpath is closed off while they're working on the new road."

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 Chingford and Edgware on April 25 in separate incidents, before they escaped in Osborne Road, Watford.

Harrow Times:

Police in Osborne Road on April 25

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.