ESRC: Transformation Project successful in targeting crime

New project management toolsets developed with the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) funded Transformation Project helped Warwickshire Police launch its new Automatic Number Plate Recognition schemes on time and budget – targeting vehicle-based criminality and solving a string of serious crimes.

The toolsets enabled Warwickshire Police to identify problem areas and measures to address them, which led to the ANPR schemes being successfully implemented in 2010 on time and within budget. As a result between 2010 and 2012, the Coventry Airport ANPR scheme identified 646,172 vehicles of interest to police – an average of over 880 per day, while the Nuneaton ANPR scheme identified a further 423,285 vehicles – an average of nearly 600 vehicles per day.

As a direct result of the schemes, vital evidence for high profile cases including murder, rape, wounding, major fraud, theft and armed robberies has been provided. They have also led to the recovery of a police vehicle stolen from Northampton, the identification of an organised crime group engaged in the theft of caravans across the Midlands and the successful prosecution of an organised crime group involved in insurance fraud.

Working closely with the ESRC-funded Transformation project team led by Dr Michael Butler at Aston Business School and a cluster of other project partners, Warwickshire Police was able to overcome the range of problems threatening the ANPR project. The collaboration led to the development of two easy-to-use project management toolsets, designed to change management practices in any type of organisation:

The Receptivity for Change Toolset, which identifies areas within the organisation that are working well or can be improved
The Actor Analysis Toolset, which examines social networks and relationships
Chris Alexander, ANPR Manager for Warwickshire Police, said: "We thought the Transformation project would be full of academic theory that probably would have achieved very little other than further clouding of the actual issue. In reality the process actually allowed us to understand what the problem was. That is a massive step towards solving the problem, and quite honestly, I doubt that we would have achieved that if we had been left to our own devices."

For further information contact:

Dr Michael Butler
ESRC Press Office:

Sarah Nichols
Telephone: 01793 413122

Susie Watts
Telephone: 01793 413119
Notes for editors

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
View our impact case study 'Project management toolsets improved policing'