Lanarkshire Constabulary was inaugurated on 13th October 1857 to carry out the provisions of the Police (Scotland) Act 1857. The County was divided into Hamilton District, Lower Ward District, Airdrie District and Lanark District.
In 1822 Airdrie formed its own Burgh Police force and Hamilton followed in 1855. Hamilton Burgh Police amalgamated again with Lanarkshire Constabulary in 1949 but was reconstituted in 1958. Coatbridge Burgh Police formed in 1894. Motherwell and Wishaw remained part of Lanarkshire Constabulary until forming their own Burgh force in 1930.
The Burgh forces were amalgamated again on 16th August 1967 to form the larger Lanarkshire Constabulary, effective until 1975.
The Burgh of Kilsyth fell within Stirlingshire until the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, which led to the council boundary changes implemented on 16th May 1975. At this point Kilsyth became part of North Lanarkshire. The police force was amalgamated into the ‘N’ Division of the newly formed Strathclyde Police in the same year, along with Cumbernauld.
On 16th May 1975 Lanarkshire Constabulary became a part of the new Strathclyde Police and was divided into three areas. ‘N’ Division covered Airdrie, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and surrounding villages. ‘P’ Division included Motherwell, Wishaw, Shotts, Bellshill and surrounding villages. ‘Q’ Division comprised South Lanarkshire. A few boundary changes occurred in the following years. In 1999 ‘P’ Division became part of ‘N’ Division.
Police Scotland, the new national police force, came into effect on 1st April 2013. The Lanarkshire Division of Police Scotland now covers the same geographical area as the Lanarkshire Constabulary of 1975.