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Porn shock as hardcore sex images shown on Telford Southwater information boards

By Mat Growcott | Telford | Crime | Published:

Police have launched an investigation after pornographic images were screened on a shopping centre information board.

Southwater

An obscene website was displayed on a digital podium near Telford Shopping Centre.

It triggered a police investigation as well as an inquiry by Telford & Wrekin Council, which runs and controls boards in the town.

The council said internet connectivity was cut to all digital podiums in Southwater as soon as the problem was reported.

But a photograph of the offending board was shared to thousands of people on social media.

The council have launched an internal investigation into how the website was displayed on the public sign amid concerns that it could have been hacked.

Emily Taylor, of Telford & Wrekin Council, said that when the signs had been turned off they had been displaying the correct non-adult content.

She said that they currently believe that the problem is not an internal issue, although investigations into the cause of the problem are ongoing.

"We are carrying out a full investigation into this complaint and have referred it to West Mercia Police and the cyber-crime desk," she said.

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"Immediately after the issue was raised with us on Monday afternoon, we disabled internet connectivity to all totems in Southwater, which were displaying correct content at the time."

West Mercia Police has also launched an investigation into the incident, and is waiting for further information from the council before trying to find the culprit.

Officers said that, if the sign was altered in a way that relates to any criminal activity, police will work to find those responsible.

Inspector Paul Mathison of West Mercia Police, Said: “We were made aware of an incident of malicious communication involving a Telford & Wrekin Council external digital display board.

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“We are awaiting an update from a council’s internal investigation into the cause of the incident.

“Should this relate to any criminal activity, then a through investigation will be undertaken by West Mercia Police”

The signs usually show information about local businesses or events and are located throughout the Southwater area, including near the library and near the International Centre and Ice Rink.

They are controlled remotely by Telford & Wrekin Council, but have been intermittently displaying the Windows operating system over the last few weeks instead of their usual adverts, a sign that they were not working properly.

Similar problems in the past at other locations have been the work of hackers, although it is also possible that the devices were affected by malware, a type of virus specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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