GWENT residents need to register now to vote in the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections this autumn.

Residents in Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Torfaen will have the power to decide who will represent them in the Gwent Police area, following a recent change in the law.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, which was passed in 2011, will see local police authorities replaced with an elected individual responsible for holding the chief constable to account on behalf of the public.

Anyone on the electoral register in England and Wales can vote for the PCC candidate they want to represent their area on November 15.

The election will create a task force of 41 new PCCs across the UK. They will also be responsible for setting out policing priorities, budgets and for producing a police and crime plan.

A full list of candidates will be released by noon on Tuesday, October 23.

Anyone wishing to register to vote should contact their local county borough or city council or visit for more information.

Those wishing to vote in person or by post must have registered by Wednesday, October 31.

The deadline for voting by proxy is Wednesday, November 7.