TODAY is D-Day for West Mercia Police – with voters across the region heading to the polls to elect the force’s first police and crime commissioner.

Conservative Adrian Blackshaw, Labour’s Simon Murphy and independent candidate Bill Longmore are all vying for the £75,000-a-year role.

The winner will be in control of a £200 million budget across West Mercia and will be responsible for drawing up policing priorities, as well as hiring or firing the chief constable.

The polls opened at 7am today and voters have until 10pm to have a say.
People will be voting for West Mercia’s candidates across Worcestershire.

The number of people turning out to vote is expected to be as low as 20 per cent.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes will pay out with odds of 5/6 to those who predict correctly whether the election turnout is higher or lower.

Amid fears of a low turnout, returning officers are appealing for residents to get out and have a say.

A result is expected tomorrow afternoon, and will appear on this website.

Next week’s Advertiser will then carry reaction and the full story of the new police and crime commissioner.