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UWL academic debates London’s rising violence on TV

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A UWL academic has featured on the capital’s popular TV channel, London Live to discuss the rising rates of violence in the capital.

Dr. Simon Harding, Associate Professor at the University’s Cybercrime and Criminology Centre, was one of three panellists on a London Live studio debate yesterday evening (Thursday), examining the reasons behind a spike in violence in London, which has seen fifty people die within just three months.

Dr Harding said he is not surprised in these figures, stating: ‘My perspective as a criminologist is  that this has been in development over the past few years.’

He explained that gang structures are changing and evolving, becoming younger at one end and older at the other, with more competition involved and changing markets. He also attributes social media as a key factor for accelerating revenge and retaliation, which can lead to greater violence.

With this topic making headlines around the country, Dr Harding's expertise and analysis is being sought by a number of broadcasters, including ITV London, Sky News and BBC Radio.

A specialist in gangs and youth justice, Dr Harding has published four books on the subject and is currently working on a new volume. He is also reviewing statistics about acid attacks gathered by the Metropolitan Police, as well as performing research into what motivates assailants to use acid as a weapon.

Watch the London Live discussion here.