A UK government initiative to track down sex offenders by publishing their details on a Most Wanted website has claimed its first success, after one of the men identified by the site handed himself in to authorities.

Gordon Stewart was one of the first five offenders to be named by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre’s Most Wanted website, which is designed to track child sex offenders who breached their notification requirements.

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP said the scheme was inspired by the success of the CrimeStopper’s website, which offers people a way to anonymous report crimes.

“The success of the Crimestoppers' website in gaining the support of the public to help track the UK's most wanted criminals is unprecedented here in the UK,” said Gamble.

“Nearly 3 million hits a month, 40 million hits overall and 24 arrests since its launch last year show the power of using the internet to publicise details and gain public support. Now we need to move a lot of that success towards protecting children and safeguarding communities from harm.”

The CEOP Centre’s Most Wanted scheme marks the first time such details have been made available on a nationwide basis.