I am currently Programme Lead for the Childhood and Youth Studies area. Prior to joining the Open University in March 2020, I was Principal Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of East London. Before embarking on my career in academia – which incidentally began at the OU in the early 2000s when I was first employed as an Associate Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Welfare – I worked for over 14 years in South and East London, firstly as a detached community and youth worker before taking on Project and Area Manager roles. Consequently, my professional background incorporates the development, management and delivery of programmes and provision in the areas: of early years, 5-11-year-old after school services, alternative education, adult education, detached youth work and centre-based youth projects.
My research interests and expertise are in the areas of: Black youth and ‘Road Culture’; youth cultures and transitions; serious youth violence and gangs; race/ethnicity, crime and justice; policing multi-ethnic urban neighbourhoods; ethnography. During the past two decades I have carried out a number of ethnographic research studies examining and exploring contemporary urban youth subculture(s) and alternative youth transitions. More recently, my work has focused on serious youth violence with regard to: (i) current policy, policing and preventative practice aimed at tackling ‘street gangs’ and; (ii) youth led and community-based/ driven solutions and interventions.
Youth Cultures and Transitions; Global Perspectives on Childhood and Youth; Race/Ethnicity and Contemporary Youth Identities; Working with Children and Young People; Youth and Social Policy; Researching with Children and Young People.
I have disseminated my research findings to a wide and varied audience via: authored books, policy papers, evaluation reports;presented and spoke at conferences, seminars and community events; television, radio and newspaper interviews.