"England Is A Safer Place" Following Arrest Of Suspect Linked To Nine Attacks In Ten Hours

7 May 2019, 10:13 | Updated: 7 May 2019, 10:54

The 34-year-old was arrested following a standoff with officers.
The 34-year-old was arrested following a standoff with officers. Picture: Met Police

"England is a safer place," a senior police officer said following the arrest of Joseph McCann who was wanted in connection with a string of offences across the country, including the rape of an 11-year-old boy.

Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Rose said: "England is a safer place," following the arrest of McCann.

34-year-old Joseph McCann, who was described by officers as "extremely dangerous," was arrested after a stand-off in Cheshire early Monday.

McCann is being investigated over seven incidents with 12 alleged victims including an 11-year-old boy and a 71-year-old woman.

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard Mr Rose said: "I think we're exceptionally relieved that he's in custody and exceptionally grateful for the help and support we've had of so many members of the public in all the calls.

"These were and they are a grotesque and appalling series of offences that are thankfully exceptionally rare so it's extremely important that he is in custody and that England is a safer place."

Officers from the Metropolitan Police launched an urgent investigation and a series of detailed public appeals to trace 34-year-old Joseph McCann who they had identified as someone they needed to speak with following the rape and abduction of two women in London

DCI Katherine Goodwin from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command is leaking the investigation, she said: “Between Sunday, 21 April and Saturday, 5 May McCann is suspected to have been involved in a number of attacks across different parts of the country. 

“I can confirm he is now being investigated for offences committed in Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire in addition to London and Hertfordshire. 

“Detectives from the Met continue to lead on this investigation and are working very closely with policing counterparts where he is suspected to have carried out further offences. These offences will be jointly investigated.

“At this early stage, there are believed to be nine further victims following the attacks in Hertfordshire and London. These attacks were grotesque and horrifying. These victims are now being supported by specialist officers. Further details concerning specific offences will become clearer in due course. 

“I would urge any other victims to come forward. We also need to hear from anyone who has been approached or been in contact with McCann between and May."

The Ministry of Justice launched an urgent investigation after the revelation that McCann may have been wrongly released from prison in February.

It is believed he was freed half-way through his three-year sentence for theft and burglary, although he was supposed to have gone before a parole board.