Scottish police forces
Police forces, in the modern sense, came into
existence in Scotland from 1800 onwards in burghs
and counties. Throughout
the later 19th century and the 20th century many
burgh constabularies were absorbed by county or
city constabularies, and several constabularies
1975 all county, burgh and amalgamated constabularies
were replaced by eight police forces (Strathclyde,
Lothian & Borders, Grampian, Tayside, Fife, Central,
Northern, and Dumfries and Galloway), supervised
by regional council police committees. These eight
forces continue today.
Historical records relating
to policing come in various categories. Local
authority archives hold some and some are retained
by police forces themselves. In general a wider
variety of records survive for the larger forces,
especially the city constabularies, while, for
some smaller constabularies, particularly those
absorbed by larger forces, little survives.
What to do now
The text above is a summary
of several articles on policing and police records
in the SCAN Knowledge Base. You can read these
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find the service record of an individual
policeman or policewoman?
Why might I be unable to trace a service record
of an ancestor who was in the police?
What was a special constable?
The Knowledge Base also contains
answers to Frequently Asked Questions. To enter
the Knowledge Base click