Council investigates after Telford public information sign shows pornographic images

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 September 2017 in News
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Apparent breach changes advertising content to explicit website

Obscured here, Ironbridge Gorge is among the biggest attractions in the district of Telford and Wrekin

The local council has launched an investigation after pornographic content was displayed on a public information sign in Telford.

The sign, at the Southwater shopping centre in the Shropshire town, was seemingly hacked and altered to display a page from adult website PornHub – including various graphic images – instead of its usual advertising content. When Telford & Wrekin Council was made aware of the problem, it took signs in the area offline.


The council has since commenced an ongoing investigation into how the sign was breached. Cybercrime specialists at West Mercia Police have also been made aware of the incident, and have pledged to investigate any related crimes.

The council issued the following statement: “We are carrying out a full investigation into this complaint and have referred it to West Mercia Police and the cybercrime desk. Immediately 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.”

Inspector Paul Mathison of West Mercia Police added: “We were made aware [on] Tuesday, 5 September of an incident of malicious communication involving a Telford & Wrekin Council external digital display board. We are awaiting an update from a council’s internal investigation into the cause of the incident.”

Mathison added: “Should this relate to any criminal activity, then a thorough investigation will be undertaken by West Mercia Police.”

The story was first covered by local site Telford Live, with whom a reader – who wished to remain anonymous – shared an image (right) of the sign displaying the explicit content, which PublicTechnology has pixelated.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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