Today people across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes will be able to choose who they want to hold the UK’s largest non-metropolitan police force to account.

A vote is taking place today the elect the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Police - a £88k post which sets the budget and priorities of the police.

The PCC is also responsible for hiring and firing the chief constable.

The job was created in 2012 to ensure that police are answerable to their communities.

READ MORE: Meet the PCC candidates – Matthew Barber (Conservative), Tim Starkey (Labour), Tim Bearder (Lib Dem), Ben Holden-Crowther (Independent) and Russell Fowler (Independent)

PCCs were set up by Theresa May while she was Home Secretary and replaced the former police authorities.

The ex-Prime Minister later admitted fearing that she had created a ‘monster’ after high-profile disagreements between chief constables and PCCs.

Conservative politician Anthony Stansfeld was elected as the first Thames Valley PCC back in 2012.

The role is currently held by fellow Tory Matthew Barber, whose Home Office-set salary is £88,600.

Mr Barber was elected in 2021 with a majority of nearly 80,000 over Labour’s Laetisia Carter, who finished second.

His mandate may sound impressive, however, hundreds of people vote in the Thames Valley PCC election, compared to tens of thousands in each constituency at the general election.

Despite this, the turnout for PCC elections is generally very low and was just 35.8 per cent last time around.

To vote in this year’s election you must be registered by midnight on Tuesday April 16.

On polling day, you do not need your poll card unless you are an anonymous voter, but you must bring photo ID.