In April 1861, the British Consul in Lagos obtained permission from his principal in London to establish a Consular Guard comprising of 30 men. Two years later in 1863, this small body of men became known as the "Hausa Guard". It was further regularized in 1879 by an Ordinance creating a Constabulary for the Colony of Lagos. An Inspector-General of Police commanded this Force recruited mainly from Hausas and known as the "Hausa Constabulary". On 1st January 1896, the Lagos Police Force was created and armed like the "Hausa Constabulary". While the developments were taking place in Lagos and part of the Yoruba heartland, the areas now known as Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, River and Cross River States were declared the Oil Rivers protectorate in 1891 with Headquarters at Calabar where an armed constabulary was formed. In 1893 the area was proclaimed the Niger Coast. Constabulary, modeled on the Hausa Constabulary, was formed. It existed for six years and featured prominently in the British expedition to Benin in 1896. In the Northern parts of the Country the Royal Niger Company, which was granted a Royal Charter in 1886 by the British Government, set up the Royal Niger Constabulary in 1888 with Headquarters at Lokoja to protect its installations along the banks of the River Niger. It had a mounted company known as Carrol’s Hoses. The Royal Niger Constabulary played an important role in British campaigns against Bida and Ilorin. When the British Government in 1900 following the transfer of administration from the Royal Niger Company proclaimed protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria, the Royal Niger Constabulary was split into the Northern Nigeria Police Force and the Northern Nigeria Regiment. In the South, the Lagos Police Force and part of the Niger Coast Constabulary became the southern Nigeria Police Force in 1906 while the bulk of the Niger Coast Constabulary formed the southern Nigeria Regiments.
After the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914 both Police Forces continued to operate separately until 1st April 1930 when they were merged to form the present Nigeria Police Force with Headquarters in Lagos.