Olympians and businessmen express concern that a week of riots have hurt the city's image as a safe, world-class venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The timing probably couldn’t have been much worse.
Footage of looting, arson, and pitched battles with police dressed in riot gear played out on national and international televisions, raising questions about London’s reputation as safe and multicultural and one of the world's premier cities.
While Prime Minister David Cameron and senior ministers concentrated on quelling the last of the unrest in English cities, others such as business people and athletes are assessing the damage to the country’s reputation abroad and the impact on next summer’s Olympics.
However their claims were undermined by the discovery that one of the rioters was 18-year-old Olympic ambassador Chelsea Ives, who was allegedly caught on camera throwing bricks at a Vodafone shop window at the height of the rioting in Enfield, north London. Her mother turned her into police after seeing footage of the riots, landing Ives in custody on two counts of burglary and throwing masonry at a police car. Her photo has been splashed across the British media.
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