Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday that a year before it hosts the 2012 Olympics Britain needed to show a more positive face to an "appalled" world after four nights of riots in English cities.
"We need to show the world, which has looked on frankly appalled, that the perpetrators of the violence we have seen on our streets are not in any way representative of our country -- nor of our young people," Cameron told parliament.
"And a year away from the Olympics, we need to show them the Britain that doesn't destroy, but that builds; that doesn't give up but stands up; that doesn't look back, but always forwards."
London and other cities were counting the cost of an orgy of looting and arson on Thursday following a relatively quiet night after thousands of extra police were drafted on to the streets.
The Olympic Games will be hosted in east London from July 27 to August 12 last year. Some of the worst rioting in London took place in Hackney, not far from the main Olympic site.