Voting has begun to elect a new Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Polling stations across Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyneside and Northumberland opened at 7:00am and will close at 22:00pm.

Dame Vera Baird QC, who has held the role since it was introduced in 2012, is stepping down from the role after being appointed Victims' Commissioner.

Jonathan Wallace, Kim McGuinness, Robert Moore and Georgina Hill are all vying to succeed her as the next Northumbria PCC.

PCCs hold police forces to account, set budget and appoint chief constables.

The region has voted twice in PCC elections, once in 2012 and again in 2016.

Another PCC election will be held next year, when Dame Vera's term was expected to end.

Jonathan Wallace:

Jonathan Wallace is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the position Credit: ITV News

Kim McGuinness

Kim McGuinness is the Labour candidate for the role Credit: ITV News

Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the Conservative candidate to be the next PCC Credit: ITV News

Georgina Hill

Georgina Hill is standing as an independent candidate Credit: ITV News