Microsoft has developed a new safety feature in its instant messenger services to make it easier for children and adults to report suspicious behaviour.

One click from the instant messenger window lets users report to police if they’re concerned that the person they’re chatting to is a sex offender.

The move is part of a deal with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which is an organisation dedicated to tackle child sex abuse.

In both Windows Live Messenger and MSN Messenger, a new tab is branded “report abuse”, which takes the user direct to online police services.

The service is not just restricted to the UK, as users can access the Virtual Global Taskforce, an alliance of police agencies across the world.

The chief executive of the CEOP Centre and Chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, Jim Gamble, explains, “CEOP is an integral part of the VGT and therefore by working with MSN in this way we are offering users access to a global police response".

“If you make a report as a UK citizen, then we at CEOP will investigate."

“If you make a report as a user from other countries then our counterparts in the US, Australia, Canada or Interpol will take the matter further."

“That is a truly global response to a worldwide issue.”