The concept of CSCV was started by Tom Haye with approval from Hampshire Constabulary after a visit from Home Secretary Theresa May.
A 6 month trial began in January 2016 after funding was received from the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
The CSCV programme was officially approved for a national rollout by Chief Constable Mike Barton of Durham Constabulary.
Scott McGready joins the CSCV programme as "National Protect Lead" after a meeting with Tom Haye.
Ian Maxted joins the CSCV programme as "National Tactical Lead".
What first started out as a way to quickly share ideas soon grew into the lifeblood of CSCV. For many volunteers this was their only method of communication with each other, and indeed the programme team themselves.
£1.2 million in funding was sought from the Home Office to pay previous costs covered by Hampshire Constabulary, as well as cover any costs moving forward.
Already a Cyber Volunteer in Lincolnshire Police at this time, Greg attended a CSCV meet up at Derbyshire Police's headquarters and subsequently joined the CSCV leadership team after meeting Tom Haye, Ian Maxted and Ian Davis there.
In parnership with Police Rewired (and various sponsors), Greg Stevenson organised and hosted Hack the Police: Lincoln; an engagement to open the doors of policing to members of the public who wanted to volunteer their time and skills to help improve digital policing.
Mebmers of CSCV (Namely Scott McGready, Ian Maxted, Ian Davis, and Richard Berry) were invited to the Netherlands to present at DEX-XL18.
Unofficial word came to the then CSCV leadership team that the funding propsal had been accepted, albeit at a smaller rate, and that money would be coming soon. £150,000 backdated to repay costs covered by Hampshire Constabulary for financial year 2018/2019 and £220,000 for financial year 2019/2020.
Without any warning, or input from the then senior leadership team, Richard Berry manipulated Barbara Spooner into the CSCV team as "National Coordinator".
A budgeting spreadsheet, outlining how the £150,000 and £220,000 would be spent, started circulating around a select group of leads. Disgust was echoed at some of the proposed figures (namely 2 "programme leads" being paid £650 / day, 3 days a week and £500 / day on administrators).Copy of Jan 2019 CSCV Budgeting Spreadsheet
Barbara Spooner is listed as a director of Blue Light Investigations & Consultancy Ltd.
Scott McGready departs the CSCV program. An email was sent to Tom Haye, Ian Davis, Greg Stevenson, Ian Maxted (a copy can be found here). A Slack message (found here) was also posted to the wider CSCV team announcing the reasons for departure which was promptly removed before the wider membership could see it.
As a direct result to Scott McGready's leaving message, Barbara Spooner was forced to introduce herself to the wider CSCV team and try to silence any questions around Scott's departure. A copy of this message (which was also promptly removed) can be found here
Barbara Spooner founds Blue Lights Consultants Ltd. alongside Mark Addis.
Jo Mitchell, a contact of Barbara Spooner, is brought in to work on the business case and funding strategy of the programme moving forward.
Mark Addis, another contact of Barbara Spooner, and co-founder of "Blue Lights Consultants Ltd." is brought in to work on the business case of the CSCV programme.
Under direction of ACC Berry, the new CSCV business case worked on by Barbara Spooner, Jo Mitchell, Mark Addis, and Ian Davis is written in order to seek further funding and justify the programme's existence.
Despite losing their home, ex-CSCV volunteers assisted policing with a time-sensitive enquiry that, by the force's own admission, wouldn't have been solved without the help of the expert ex-volunteers.
After successfully solving the challenge coin, members of Team Duckbear take to Slack to query the state of the programme (due to lack of interaction with the programme team to date) and the state of their members' applications.
Questions started being asked in the CSCV Slack workspace about the running of the programme, funding, and updates on current projects. The CSCV programme team started deleting messages which were posted but quickly changed tact and shut down the entire platform instead. This cut off many volunteers from each other with all of their history, work, and projects lost into oblivion.
James Washington, one of the members of Team Duckbear, publishes a scathing blog post about CSCV and the lack of updates. https://directiveoperations.io/2019/09/22/you-cant-keep-us-all-silent-lets-make-this-public/
Hampshire Constabulary responded to two FOIs (Organisational Structure for the CSCV (Cyber Specials Cyber Volunteers) national team) and (Business cases & funding requests CSCV (Cyber Specials Cyber Volunteers)) stating that the did not hold the information requested. This decision was contested by Scott McGready and escalated to an internal review.
In an attempt to bring the CSCV programme's decisions and CSCV's behaviour to the public's attention, Scott McGready publishes an exposé on CSCV. Covering the time spent working with CSCV as National Protect Lead, various peculiar decisions that were made, and the money spent to date.
FOI sent to Hampshire Constabulary requesting a detailed breakdown of all invoices and expenses was refused on grounds of "data protection". A clarified FOI was submitted.
FOIs that Hampshire Constabulary refused or claimed "not held" were re-submitted to the Home Office.
Due to a lack of sufficient response from other FOIs, or other organisations claiming not to have any responsibility for CSCV, additional FOIs were submitted to the National Police Chief's Council.
After receiving virtually no feedback from any official, or unofficial, source on CSCV, Scott McGready sent Rod Hansen, Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary, an email pleading with him to read the "Breaking the lock on CSCV" article and come to a conclusion - be that refute or investigate.
Due to the developing nature, and lack of responses by anyone, Scott McGready submits a Subject Access Request (SAR) to Gloucestershire Constabulary asking for emails related to, or mentioning, himself.
22nd November was cited as the date of delivery of Scott McGready's SAR.
Due to lack of responses by CSCV, Hampshire Constabulary, Gloucestershire Constabulary, and the Home Office, Scott McGready reached out to policing minister, Kit Malthouse.
Despite an intitial promising response claiming to forward any claims to Kit's Private Office within the Home Office, no further contact was made by Kit's office or staff.
Despite responding within the alotted time, unlike other organisations, requests for the current business case for CSCV was refused due to being too "wide ranging":
"Unfortunately, I am unable to accept part 2 of your request for information under S8(c) of the Freedom of Information Act. The Freedom of Information Act allows for you to be provided with specific recorded information. Your request is too wide ranging and seeks ‘all’ documentation relating to business cases and funding requests."
Despite responding within the alotted time, unlike other organisations, requests for lists of invoices received for CSCV was refused due to it relating to "personal information":
"The NPCC does hold information captured by parts 1 and 3 of your request. Part 1 relates to personal information and I am withholding by virtue of S40.."
While other FOIs were unsuccessful, the NPCC did handily provide an image of the organisational structure of CSCV showing members of the governance board as well as names and titles of the CSCV senior leadership team.
Gloucestershire Constabulary confirm that Scott McGready's allegations of misuse of public funds by Richard Berry and Ian Maxted are being investigated.
Hours after the official acknowledgement by Gloucestershire Constabulary that Scott McGready's complaint would be looked into, Richard Berry calls Scott McGready. The call was not answered.
Convenient is the timing of the call, and the fact that Richard Berry had only previously called Scott McGready once during the entire time with CSCV
As Scott McGready's SAR was now overdue, Gloucestershire Constabulary were called to chase the current status of the SAR and ask for an estimated time of delivery. No updates were given.
A letter, dated 21st November, was received by Scott McGready further delaying their SAR by 30 days.
23rd December was cited as the new date of delivery of Scott McGready's SAR.
Gloucestershire Constabulary's Deputy Chief Constable decides not to record a complaint against Richard Berry or Ian Maxted on the subject of abuse of powers, nepotism, threats, and misuse of public money due to "insufficient evidence".
Despite promises of delivery within 30 days, Scott McGready's SAR was now overdue and no contact had been made by GlosPol to explain the delay. The Data Protection Team at GlosPol couldn't give any update on the outstanding SAR, whether it would be delivered on time, or if it was being delayed yet again.
Despite already delaying the original SAR twice, GlosPol requested another 30 days for delivery of SAR due to the original request being "complex".
22nd January was cited as the new date of delivery of Scott McGready's SAR.
Claiming "due to a high volume of emails being returned following the search parameters" GlosPol delayed the delivery of Scott McGready's SAR. It is noted that once a timescale has been determined, Gloucestershire Constabulary will contact any parties and advise them of a new date of delivery.
Due to Gloucestershire Constabulary's continued delaying of Scott McGready's SAR, a complaint was made to the Information Comissioners Office. It was advised that this complaint would take 8 weeks to be assessed and assigned to an officer for investigation.
Gloucestershire Constabulary's Data Protection Team contacted Scott McGready to advise them that "due to a high demand of cases" their SAR would be delayed without any timescale for completion. Gloucestershire went on to note that they had notified the Information Commissioner's office and were working with them to reduce the ongoing workload.
Unhappy with Gloucestershire Constabulary's decision not to record a complaint or investigate Richard Berry or Ian Maxted, a complaint was made to Independent Office of Police Complaints (IOPC) asking them to reassess and examine the complaint.
Two members of the current CSCV leadership team, who're both accused of shunning the volunteer community, threatening volunteers, and earning £650/day are announced as nominees for the National Cyber Awards.
Barbara Spooner is nominated for "Cyber Person of the Year" and Ian Maxted is nominated for "Cyber Volunteer of the Year", despite not being a volunteer.
It should be noted that Richard Berry is on the judging panel for the awards, despite rumours of being on "restricted duties".
Due to the IOPC being contacted, GlosPol's Deputy Chief Constable confirmed to Scott McGready in writing that a complaint against Richard Berry and Ian Maxted would be recorded and the IOPC would be contacted regarding how to investigate, and by whom.
Due to increased attention, Sunday Mirror picked up the story and published an article on CSCV both online and in print.