Simon is Professor in Criminology at the School of Law University of West London, (UWL).  He was previously a lecturer/ researcher for several years at both Middlesex University and at London South Bank University.

Simon has over 30 years practitioner/professional experience in crime reduction and community safety including several years as London Regional Crime Advisor for the Home Office.  His extensive history in urban regeneration and crime includes time as Community Safety Manager in Hackney, also in Islington, and Crime Reduction Director in Lambeth.  He has worked on over 2,400 UK social housing estates, written and published numerous community safety audits, strategies and reports and in 1999 invented Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs).   

Previously a Principal Trainer in Hate Crime and Diversity at The Crime Academy, MPS Police Training College, Hendon, he remains an Independent Advisor to MPS Commissioners on hate crime, equalities and diversity.

Recent work focusses on youth violence and urban street gangs.  In 2005-08 he organised the Lambeth Gangs Commission, managed the UKs largest anti-gangs project, (The Phoenix Project), was involved in Five Borough Alliance Gangs project. He now advises the Home Office, the MPS, NCA and HMICFRS on youth violence including gangs, knives and county lines.

Simon has published several books including Unleashed: the phenomena of status dogs and weapon dogs (2012); and Harding, S. and Palasinki, M. (2016) Global Perspectives on Youth Gang Behaviour, Violence and Weapon Use, IGI Global, USA.   His theoretical exposition on gang crime, The Street Casino: survival in violent street gangs (2014) was awarded the Frederick Milton Thrasher Award for 2014 for Superior Gang Research. 

Current research includes interviewing young people on Moped Crime, Drill music, Acid Attacks, Knife Crime and County Lines.  His new book, out Easter 2020 with Bristol University Press is  County Lines: exploitation and drug dealing amongst urban street gangs.