Residents across Thames Valley will soon have the chance to vote for their first ever local Police and Crime Commissioner.
Each of the 41 police force areas in England and Wales, outside of London, will elect a Commissioner who will be accountable for how crime is tackled.
PCCs will aim to ensure that the police deliver an effective and efficient service.
Nominations for elections are now open and completed forms must be submitted to the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) no later than noon next Friday (19/10).
Anyone interested in standing must be aged 18 or over, be registered to vote, have 100 signatures backing their candidacy from people also registered to vote and pay a deposit of £5,000.
The deposit will be returned to those candidates who get more than five per cent of the votes cast.
There are some people who cannot stand, such as those who work for the police or one of the local councils, or have ever been convicted of an imprisonable offence, but otherwise the opportunity is there for anyone who would like to take on this important role.
The full list of candidates for the election will be published on October 23, although candidates have until noon the next day to withdraw if they wish.
The deadline for people to ensure they are registered to vote at these elections is October 31.
Poll cards will be issued on October 22 to tell electors the date of the election, the hours of poll and where to find their polling stations.
Registered voters who find it difficult to get to a polling station on election day, who are away on holiday on November 15, or those who simply wish to vote in the comfort of their own home need to get their completed postal vote application form in by 5pm on October 31.
The Commissioner will be elected using the supplementary voting system, as used in mayoral elections.
A booklet explaining about the PCC elections and the supplementary vote system will be delivered by the Electoral Commission to every household from October 22. Other formats including an easy read version will also be available.
Polling stations across Thames Valley will be open from 7am to 10pm on November 15 with the count taking place the next day.
Police Area Returning Officer, Andrew Grant, Chief Executive of Aylesbury Vale District Council, said: “The election of a PCC on 15 November will be the biggest change in how the police service is structured for many years. To be part of the process to elect a PCC you have to be eligible to vote and the electoral registration office based at your local council must have up-to-date records for you.
“If you have changed address recently it may be worthwhile checking that your correct address is held so that you can influence the future of policing in Thames Valley. Everyone who is registered to vote will have the opportunity to exercise their vote and have their say.”
Anyone wishing to stand should contact the PARO Electoral Registration Office on 01296 585807.