Bristol Region November Meeting

Bristol Region held a successful meeting at the Fox Inn, Easter Compton, Bristol on Wednesday 19 November 2018 where Mike Briggs delivered an excellent presentation on vehicle security systems.

Chairman Alan Doughty welcomed Mike to our meeting and gave a brief introduction setting out Mike's background, having spent 21 years at Thatcham initially as vehicle security engineer and then as vehicle security manager and is now a director of VSST Ltd.

Mike started his presentation by giving us a brief insight into his role at Thatcham, where his remit was to reduce risk for the insurance industry and provide vehicle security solutions for tomorrow. Mike and his team gradually increased security by building layers of protection; this started with steering locks, door lock shielding and double locking, and quickly progressed to alarms, immobilizers and easier identification of vehicles by making the VIN visible.

Vehicles with keyless entry are now proving to be popular targets with thieves and, whilst there are a couple of manufacturers who have designed security that require the key to be moving to continue immobilization of the vehicle and some have designed their cars to block the signal if they are double locked, for the most part the signal just has to be amplified so the vehicle thinks the key is in range to unlock and immobilize it. The more expensive relay boxes used by thieves can read a signal from a distance of eight meters and can extend the signal up to 300 meters. Mike recommends vehicle keys be placed in a Faraday Cage (metal tin) in order to block the signal - a good piece of advice which I think most in the room with keyless entry vehicles would have acted on that very same evening.

In 2016 Mike started his own business, Vehicle Security Solutions Tomorrow Ltd, to assist key stakeholders in finding solutions against threats. Mike felt that vehicle tracking was the way forward and identified that the aftermarket can turn around counter measures quicker than the vehicle manufacturers. With this in mind, the Tracking & Aftermarket Security Systems Association (TASSA) was formed.

Mike answered numerous questions from the floor, after which the chairman extended thanks from the region to Mike for his outstanding presentation.

Future meeting dates as follows:

The region's next meeting will be the AGM to be held on January 16 2019 at 7.30pm following which Chris Goddard from Collision Science will be giving a talk on collision


Dave Harwood

Bristol Region secretary

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