Sunday, October 25, 2009

FEMALE RUN PRIVATE INVESTIGATION LONDON UK, top qualities for a PI are “honesty, reliability and common sense.”

MOVE over Charlie’s Angels, there’s a new breed of female detective in town. But rather than snaring criminals, these lady private eyes are using their snooping and surveillance skills to catch out straying HUSBANDS. Arabella Mazzuki, is the founder of Minx007 Britain’s first all-female detective agency. And rather than donning a grubby mac and lurking around street corners, Arabella has a baby pink version and gets around in a sporty MG.

Business is booming for Minx007 in their patch around Godalming, Surrey UK.Arabella says: “Twenty years ago, a woman might have put up with her husband playing away. But now she won’t.” It’s no surprise after a recent survey found that nearly half of Brits who suspect their partner of cheating go on to hire a private investigator. Worried wives set the wheels in motion in 60 per cent of cases. Arabella, 30, originally started work as a secretary but landed work as a PI for an agency after she realised there was a professional way of indulging her nosy streak.

Two years later she left to start her own agency and Minx007 was born. She now employs a team of five other women with male PIs on call if she needs them for particular situations. By the time clients come to Arabella, they are usually pretty sure that their partner is playing away. What she offers them is proof.

She says: “Most of the time we’re simply confirming their suspicions. It’s often for the wife’s peace of mind, so she knows the truth.” But Arabella’s service goes deeper than that. “I offer a more rounded approach than the typical old-school private detective. We provide a lot of emotional support,” she says. “A woman who comes to us might have been married for 30 years and never have worked or paid a bill in her life.

“She can’t believe her husband has been playing away and can’t envisage life without him. My challenge is to put women back on their feet so they get their lives back.” With the stakes so high, Arabella and her team have to provide a great deal of emotional support. That often involves phone calls from clients and advice from the team.

She says: “I’m no counsellor, but you do get upset when someone is crying down the phoneand their whole life is being ruined. “You are dealing with people’s high emotions and sometimes you’re the only person they have got to talk to in the world.”Arabella says the top qualities for a PI are “honesty, reliability and common sense.”

But the service Minx007 offers does not come cheap. Arabella says a “good” investigation sets her clients back around £3,000 ($5,000). The team use tracking skills and spying equipment for their surveillance. But they also get the client to help out as much as possible. Arabella says: “We can give the wife bugs to put in the house and the car.

“But sometimes common sense is all that’s needed we get her to check his mileometer to see if he has really been going where he says he has.” The most reliable tool for catching someone with their pants down is a camera. In one incident, Arabella caught a straying husband by taking snaps of him from the flat opposite. “He was on the 12th floor of Canary Wharf in East London not a place where you’d think to close the curtains, so I got it all. But what I hadn't realised was that the woman he was with was actually his wife’s best friend.

“I was going to give the wife the videotape but when I turned up at this restaurant to hand it over she was actually with the woman who was on the tape! “Once her friend had left, I had to tell her that is the woman I’ve been following for the last three weeks. She was completely devastated.” Arabella’s agency also offers honey-trapping flirting with someone to see if they will remain faithful.

Surprisingly, when they do set up a honeytrap, they do not send in a real glamourpuss. “Men do have their type so you find out what that is whether it’s tall blondes or curvy brunettes,” Arabella says. The Minx007 team are all pretty girls who can either blend in or stand out. Arabella says: “You’ve got to be able to do both, depending on the job. Blending in is especially important. “When someone sees you they take a mental snapshot. So if you’re going to come into view again you tie a jumper around your waist and put your hair up it creates a different mental snapshot.”

Arabella admits that though her work has not soured her view of men, it has “confirmed the negative thoughts I had already.” She adds: “There is a certain type, shall we call him the typical male, who just can’t help himself. That kind of man you can never get through to. He will always cheat.”

Part of your job involves setting honey traps for would be cheating partners… “Basically a 'honey trap' is an investigation that involves someone being paid to observe or flirt with the person in question to detect signs of infidelity. Honey-trap cases may seem simple from the outside but they often require the most planning. Clients want an answer and our aim is to get that for them. However before we start a case, we make sure that clients realise just what they’re getting into and are able to prepare themselves for the worst possible outcome.

Surprisingly its not just women who approach us about honey-trapping, our client ratio is around 60% women to 40% men.” What does a honey trap case involve and have you ever got caught out “Often, it’s a simple case of approaching the ‘subject’ in a bar to see how far they want to take things.