The PCC will have the power to hire and fire the Chief Constable, hold the force to account and set policing priorities for the area.
I served on the Bill Committee scrutinising the legislation as it made its way through Parliament. Like many others, I wasn't convinced it was the right approach and I fear there will be difficulties ahead, but it became law.
The Electoral Reform Society is predicting that turnout could be as low as 18.5%. This would represent the lowest voter turnout in modern times.
The Police and Crime Commissioner will have a key role in shaping policing as well as tackling crime and antisocial behaviour in our area. Regardless of how you vote, it's important you have your say at the ballot box.
This article was originally published in the Sunderland Echo on 24th October 2012.