Businesses are being urged to get behind a campaign to make Chester the first porn free city.

The campaign would see filters in place to stop visitors and residents being able to access hardcore and explicit images on Wi-Fi in cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels.

The call comes after an exclusive investigation by The Chronicle which revealed shoppers could view extreme pornographic images from their mobile phones and tablets in various ‘family’ locations across the city.

Chester Cathedral shut down its public Wi-Fi after we discovered anyone could access the indecent images while sitting in its cafe, during the investigation in November last year.

But the Cathedral has joined a growing list of shops, restaurants and cafes in the city to have their Wi-Fi connections declared child ‘friendly’, after making changes to block unsuitable sites.

Now politicians, children’s charities and parenting groups are urging businesses to join the ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ scheme, under the world’s first accreditation scheme for public hotspots - which was created in Chester.

The accreditation, which can be displayed by the business, means that the Wi-Fi “meets a minimum level of filtering” to block access to pornographic and child abuse websites.

Chester based company, The Registered Digital Institute (RDI), who developed and launched the scheme said they would be contacting traders this month in a bid to get regulations in

RDI director Mike Davies said: “It would be great if Chester could become the first ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ city.”

The company, which was set up in 2005 to create a database of safe digital TV installers for the Digital Switchover, worked in collaboration with The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), the Government and the Uk’s main service providers to develop the scheme.

MP for the City of Chester, Stephen Mosley is urging businesses to get behind the scheme, which he praised as a ‘fantastic innovation’.

He said: “Friendly Wi-Fi is a fantastic innovation to keep our children safe online and I’m proud that RDI, a Chester based company, is leading the way.”

“The Government has introduced a package that empowers parents to keep their children away from explicit material at home. But parents won’t be happy if they block explicit materials at home only for their children to be able to access it when out and about.

That’s why I’m delighted to give my support to RDI in their effort to make Chester the first Friendly Wi-Fi city.”

Businesses in Chester city centre already signed up to protect customers online and display the ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ symbol include Tesco’s, Starbucks, Chester Cathedral, Chester Grosvenor Shopping Centre and Cinderbox Coffee.

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