A man who was wanted in connection with an abduction and rape in Hertfordshire, as well as two further offences in the London area, was arrested in the early hours of yesterday (May 6).
Joseph McCann, aged 34, was located in the Congleton area of Cheshire and remains in police custody today (May 7).
It has been established that McCann has been linked to additional offences in Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire, as well as the previous ones in Hertfordshire and London.
There is a total of twelve victims, all of whom are being supported by specially-trained officers from their home force.
The Metropolitan Police are continuing to lead the investigation and will be working closely with their counterparts in the relevant police forces.
Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips said: “We, along with other police forces, welcomed the news of McCann’s arrest in Cheshire in the early hours of yesterday morning. I know this will come as a relief to the victims of these terrible crimes, as well as the wider communities that have been affected.
“Our officers in the Sexual Offences Investigation Team here in Hertfordshire are continuing to work in close partnership with the Metropolitan Police with regards to the offence committed in Watford in the early hours of Easter Sunday.
“Following this report and the two offences in London, we targeted extra resources in the form of high-visibility patrols as part of the night-time economy, as well as the areas of Hagden Lane, Osborne Road and the surrounding vicinity. We have since received feedback from members of the community who say they felt safer having seen an increased police presence on the streets.
“I would also like to thank our partners and other organisations who attended the community engagement meeting at Watford Borough Council on Thursday last week. We are very grateful for your support and found your advice invaluable.”
Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to contact the Hertfordshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre, who offer a 24/7 confidential service to those who have experienced sexual violence and/or abuse.
You can visit their website at hertssarc.org or call them on 0808 178 4448