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Labour Politician's Son Arrested For Looting Cell phone During Riots

London, Aug 29: The son of a former police watchdog has been arrested on suspicion of looting a mobile phone shop during the recent riots, reports Daily Mail.Detectives raided the council flat home of Mark
PTI August 29, 2011 16:52 IST

London, Aug 29: The son of a former police watchdog has been arrested on suspicion of looting a mobile phone shop during the recent riots, reports Daily Mail.

Detectives raided the council flat home of Mark Duvall after someone claimed to recognise him in CCTV footage released by police.

He is the 25-year-old son of senior Labour politician Len Duvall, a London Assembly member and former head of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The arrest is embarrassing to Mr Duvall, a staunch supporter of Ian Blair during his time as Met commissioner.

Just days earlier he had called on the public to turn in yobs who went on the rampage, saying he was ‘dismayed and outraged by the mindless violence'. The police raid took place in Woolwich, South-East London, where four generations of the Duvall family have lived and which Mr Duvall continues to represent.

The town centre was devastated as hundreds of hooded and masked rioters ran amok. There was widespread looting and a pub was razed to the ground.

Mark Duvall is accused of joining a mob that ransacked a branch of Vodafone, stealing iPhones and other valuable handsets.

Rioting that began in Tottenham, Enfield and Brixton spread to Woolwich, Croydon, Ealing and other parts of the capital on August 8.

It is understood officers did not find any suspicious goods in the property, which Mark Duvall shares with his bull mastiff dog.

Police were also looking for a distinctive black Adidas top, with white piping on the sleeves, that was worn by the suspect captured on CCTV.

Mark Duvall denied taking part in looting and said he returned home after receiving a phone call from his father urging him to get off the streets.

Speaking outside his home, he said: ‘I had nothing to do with it. I was at home the whole time. These claims are untrue and have been made because of who my dad is.'

And last night, his father added: ‘I understand allegations have been made against my son. They are completely wrong and untrue. My son is co-operating fully with the police. He is innocent and a victim of a malicious allegation.'

The arrest could not come at a worse time for Mr Duvall because he is a close aide of Ken Livingstone who is bidding to be re-elected as London mayor next May.

Mr Duvall, 49, has a distinguished political career and received an OBE in 1998 for his work as a local representative and campaigner.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Duvall said the scenes of violence and criminal damage do not ‘represent the majority of our young people'.

He added: ‘We know most are law abiding and will be appalled by what they've seen. We should be mindful about criminalising all young people.'

A source said: ‘We know Len Duvall well. He is a respected figure and has always been a fierce advocate for law and order. But that does not mean his son will be treated any differently.'

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the suspect has been released on bail until next month.