Val passed his driving test in 1981. In 1984 he joined the Police Force and in 1990 was attached to the Road Policing Unit attaining the Police Class 1 driving qualification (including tactical pursuit and containment). After retiring in 2011 he joined the IAM attaining a F1RST pass. In 2016 he attained the National Observer’s qualification and later qualified as a Local Observer assessor. He has a keen interest in history and is a member of several Historical Re-enactment Societies.