Why hate crime occurs: exploring the accounts of people convicted of hate crime in Scotland.

Organised by Social Work and Social Policy Strathclyde: Seminar #7

In this seminar, Rania Hamad, discusses her ongoing doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, into the phenomenon of hate crime in Scotland.

Bio: Rania Hamad is currently Professional Justice Social Work Adviser for the Scottish Government. She is seconded from her role as Senior Practitioner for Hate Crime and Restorative Justice for the City of Edinburgh Council’s Criminal Justice Social Work service, responsible for service developments in relation to working with people who have been convicted of hate offences, and developing a Restorative Justice service for hate crime in partnership with Police Scotland. During this time Rania has worked in youth justice, general criminal justice services, groupwork services, HMP Edinburgh, the Willow Service (a trauma-informed service for women involved in the criminal justice system), and is a qualified Practice Teacher, and a member of Community Justice Scotland’s Academic Advisory Group, and an Associate of CYCJ.


Scotland is often considered to be one of the world’s most friendly, welcoming countries, and viewed as having the best LGBT+ legal equality in Europe. Nonetheless, annual data published by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service demonstrates that hate crime and prejudice in all their forms continue to be lived, everyday realities for many of our citizens in Scotland, with 5612 reported offences in 2019-20 – an increase of 698 from the previous reporting year. With the broad consensus that hate crime is significantly under-reported, is prejudice and hatred towards other people more of an issue in Scotland than we may think? What drives people to target and harm other people on the basis of certain identity characteristics? And can we truly say that they hate them?

Remarkably, there is little research on the motivations of those who commit hate crime, despite such accounts being central to our understanding of how and why hate crime occurs. To this end, my ongoing PhD research at the University of Edinburgh is focusing on how and why hate crime occurs, by speaking directly to people convicted of hate crime in Scotland and gaining their in-depth accounts. I hope to be able to add to the existing research in this area, and to explore the different intersecting levels that may contribute to inequalities and hate crime occurring. Greater knowledge of the dynamics of hate crime may better inform our responses to it, and prevent further re-victimisation and harm. This seminar will outline some of the key theories on the causation of hate crime (including individual motivations), and highlight the current trends and potential responses to hate crime in Scotland.

You can register to attend this event via Eventbrite. Social Work and Social Policy Strathclyde: Seminar #7 Tickets, Wed 21 Jul 2021 at 12:00 | Eventbrite