FUGITIVE Joseph McCann has been arrested over the abduction of two 14-year-old girls and is being investigated for other attacks around the country including the rape of an 11-year-old boy.

Police confirmed the "extremely dangerous" McCann had been arrested in Cheshire after a stand-off with officers overnight.

The 34-year-old is now being investigated over seven incidents across Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire, London and Hertfordshire between April 21 and Sunday.

The attacks involved a total of 12 victims, aged between 11 and 71.

Residents described how police descended en masse after McCann fled up a tree.