Ul­ti­mate spy dream be­comes a re­al­ity

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREERS - Janita Singh

LUKE Athens’ teenage am­bi­tion to be a spy later led to an ex­cit­ing ca­reer as a pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

Athens (pic­tured), who has lent his ex­per­tise to a range of cases, in­clud­ing a Strath­field Coun­cil in­ves­ti­ga­tion into break-ins at councillors’ homes, says it is the ca­reer of his dreams, “packed with ac­tion and no two days are the same”.

“It’s the clos­est thing to be­com­ing a spy, like those seen in movies,’’ he says.

“As a child my per­son­al­ity re­volved around as­sist­ing oth­ers in need. This ca­reer de­liv­ers this. It’s just so re­ward­ing,’’ he says.

Athens, also the founder of Heart­break­ers (a com­pany in­ves­ti­gat­ing in­fi­delity) says he has been in­volved in many high pro­file cases but is un­able to dis­close much be­cause of con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ments.

Athens who has been in the field for two decades has done it all from fam­ily law and in­fi­delity in­ves­ti­ga­tions, com­puter and mo­bile phone foren­sics, so­cial me­dia in­ves­ti­ga­tions, back­ground checks and miss­ing per­sons to data re­cov­ery in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

There’s never mo­ment, he adds.

“Every day is dif­fer­ent. It could start off with an early morn­ing surveil­lance job mon­i­tor­ing some­one’s rou­tine or in­ves­ti­gat­ing a per­son’s so­cial me­dia ac­count and ex­tract­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion or tak­ing an in­ter­view for an in­sur­ance com­pany on fraud.

“The ex­cite­ment around a ve­hi­cle or a pur­suit on foot is very re­ward­ing when done suc­cess­fully. Ex­tract­ing that piece of ev­i­dence is al­ways ex­cit­ing, es­pe­cially when done un­der­cover.’’

Like any ca­reer, Athens says to be a good pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor you need to have pas­sion and plenty of pa­tience, be pre­pared to a dull work hard and have a keen eye for de­tail.

“Be pre­pared to work hard … don’t ex­pect to be driv­ing the Fer­rari like that in Mag­num PI. Spend some time learn­ing un­der another com­pany.

“The min­i­mum re­quire­ment is a sim­ple Cer­tifi­cate 3 in In­ves­tiga­tive Ser­vices as a base and you then can ei­ther fur­ther your skills on the job or seek fur­ther train­ing in spe­cialised field.

“I rec­om­mend any­one in­ter­ested to also look into the Aus­tralian train­ing busi­ness called Spy School.”

Athens says in the past decade de­mand for pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tion ser­vices has risen.

“Some 10 years ago most peo­ple thought it was just some­thing in the movies, and oth­ers thought it was mainly as­sist­ing po­lice. To­day peo­ple un­der­stand that we are here to help.” For more de­tails, go to: heart­break­ers.com.au

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