Three actresses, three children’s rooms, 10 days and 2,458 sexual predators.

Today Republic Films announce the release of new hard-hitting documentary, Caught In The Net, which will be coming to digital download platforms on 7th February.

Aimed at shining an urgent light on the taboo subject of the online abuse of children the film follows an innovative experiment set up to expose the internets hidden predators.

Three actresses, three children’s rooms, 10 days and 2,458 sexual predators. Three over-18 actresses are tasked with pretending they are 12 years old on fake social network profiles. In faithful copies of children’s rooms created in a film studio, they chat and Skype with men of all ages who have searched for and contacted them online, all the while secretly monitored by the production team, psychologists, and legal advisors.

The documentary follows the gripping drama from casting to face to face meetings with predators (watched by security and six hidden cameras). Predatory tactics are gradually turned against perpetrators and the hunters become the hunted.

  • Online grooming crimes recorded by police jumped by around 70% in the last three years reaching an all-time high in 2021.
  • Freedom of information responses from 42 police forces in England and Wales found:
  • There were 5,441 Sexual Communication with a Child offences recorded between April 2020 and March 2021, an increase of around 70% from recorded crimes in 2017/18.
  • When comparing data provided by the same 42 police forces from 2019/20, there was also an annual increase of 9% – making the number of crimes recorded last year a record high.
  • Almost half of the offences used Facebook-owned apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
  • Instagram was the most common site used, flagged by police in 32% of instances where the platform was known last year.
  • Snapchat was used in over a quarter of offences, meaning the big four were used in 74% of instances where the platform was known,

Source – NSPCC

The Caught In The Net team, are keen to educate the broadest possible audience about the issue of the abuse of children on the internet, including those who are most at risk, the children. This passion brought about, Caught In The Net: Schools Out, an educational campaign that travelled across the Czech Republic to schools to highlight the danger and discuss how it can be avoided.