Simon has an unusual career background as he also has a degree in Marketing. He previously worked in Market Research and Advertising for Pegram Walters Ltd., where he was Director of Youth Research conducting multiple focus groups with young people, often in viewing labs for international clients. He also spent time as a Youth Trends Researcher and Spotter and worked for clients including BT, Disney, Nickelodeon, Abbey National, Dupont, STV, Channel 4, Barclays. He eventually decided to shift back to social research.
His current research focus is on the evolution of UK urban street gangs which means covering everything from pitbulls to acid attacks and Moped crime to Drill Music.
Simon has published several books, Unleashed: the phenomena of status dogs and weapon dogs (2012); Unleashed (2014); and his major theoretical exposition on gang crime, The Street Casino: survival in violent street gangs (2014) - awarded the Frederick Milton Thrasher Award for 2014 for Superior Gang Research.
His last book was Harding, S. and Palasinki, M. (2016) Global Perspectives on Youth Gang Behaviour, Violence and Weapon Use, IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA.
Simon’s new book is out in 2019 with Bristol University Press, called Trapped: County Lines, drugs, gangs and exploitation.