West Yorkshire Police serve approximately 2.1 million people living in one of the six Metropolitan counties.

The physical area of some 2000 square kilometres or 780 square miles contains the West Yorkshire conurbation and a network of motorway and trunk roads, which allow easy access to and from population centres.

Around 5,800 police officers and 5,000 support staff police the area. This makes the Force the fourth largest in the country.West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department (PSD) functions in 2 separate sections – the Administration Section and the Investigative Section.

The Administration Section is based at Headquarters and undertakes the recording of all complaints against police, internal investigations, civil claims for compensation against the Police Authority and management information.

The Investigative Section operates from outside Headquarters at a number of different locations covering the county. The recording of this data is performed using the Centurion system from Force Information Systems Ltd. This comprehensive and functionally rich database contains a wide range of data and West Yorkshire Police needed the ability to query and analyse this data quickly and efficiently. West Yorkshire Police selected the Link Explorer software from Xanalys Ltd to support them in this task.

Sue Durham is the PSD Admin Manager at West Yorkshire Police and comments:

The needs of the force are vast, varied and ever changing, we needed a solution to overcome the difficulties in creating/managing complex ad-hoc reports. It needed to be easy to use, cost effective and require minimal training.”

Xanalys Link Explorer is a powerful analysis tool used by many hundreds of analysts throughout the world to provide analysis, clarification and simplification of complex data, with the aim of producing credible intelligence and management information that organisations can act upon. It does this by literally drawing a picture of the objects in an organisation’s data, and the links that connect those objects. At the simplest level, Xanalys Link Explorer presents data in a way that allows users to identify patterns and trends, track progress, and highlight hidden connections or to alert you to potential issues that are not otherwise apparent.

Xanalys Link Explorer for Centurion includes a bridge to visually query the live data held in the Centurion database in real-time. Charts and Reports can be produced quickly and easily without the need for complex reporting/query languages or having detailed knowledge of underlying tables/attributes.

Management Information

Sue Durham goes on to say “The system has been used to develop performance measures within the department by utilising the progress log, without which it would be impossible to monitor.   These results have allowed robust management of staff and re-alignment of process in order to improve timeliness.   Most recently performance measures have been created to monitor the timeliness of first contact with a complainant (within 24 hours) as a direct response to the Policing Pledge.”

“Management information is also produced using the system in relation to timeliness of investigations by divisions within the force. This information is extracted quickly, sorted into divisional order and is used by the command team at quarterly reviews to monitor divisional performance in relation to complaint and conduct data.   This information is also valuable in relation to Direction and Control (quality of service) cases which are a direct measure of Confidence and Satisfaction within the force area (Home Office target)”

Freedom of Information Requests

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. This has resulted in the PSD having to deal with a number of requests for information which must be provided within a strict timetable. Using Link Explorer PSD can process these requests quickly and efficiently without the need for laborious manual researching and collation of data.

Sue Durham comments that “without Link Explorer we would struggle to accurately respond to the many and varied requests for information under FOI legislation. The data that is returned using the system can then be manipulated into Excel and sorted accordingly. “

Typical examples of the types of FOI requests are:-

  • How many officers have been subject of a discipline investigation in relation to incivility?
  • How many offences have you investigated regarding allegations of theft of property when the officer was BME?
  • How many officers were investigated for criminal offences, what was the length of the investigation, what was the outcome for each officer?


Sue Durham summarises by saying “Link Explorer was selected for several reasons, its ease of use, accuracy, the ability to download excessive amounts of data into Microsoft Excel for manipulation and data sorting, excellent customer service/availability and cost effectiveness.”

“I don’t know how we would manage without this reliable, easy to use and speedy analytical software.”