Olympic artwork on Dorking roundabout could attract thieves, warns committee
THE team behind plans for a metal sculpture on a Dorking roundabout have warned the artwork could attract thieves.
Last week the Advertiser reported that Heather Burrell's steel statue of two cyclists had been chosen for the A24/Pixham Lane roundabout to mark this summer's Olympic Games.
But some members of the committee which chose the design believe it could be an easy target for criminals, as the number of metal thefts in Mole Valley continues to soar.
David Brett, of Mole Valley Arts Forum, said: "I do have severe worries about the metal.
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"I personally would have gone for the circular arch design simply because of the worry about it being less attractive to metal thieves. I do have my worries about it but the cockerel on the other [Reigate Road] roundabout is still there, that hasn't flown away thank God, so I hope that the cyclists will still be in situ for many years to come.
"It is a worry because at the moment you can't leave anything around without somebody trying to pinch it."
Councillor David Howarth (Lib Dem, Leatherhead North) added: "I hope it isn't subject to thefts, but when you have got so many small pieces of metal it's a danger.
"I hope that it's in a prominent enough position that it won't be a target."
Councillor Caroline Salmon, who is leading the project, said: "We have to think about what could happen but the roundabout is very well lit, it has got big lights coming down onto it and it might be possible to have a CCTV camera there.
"It would be very difficult for someone to steal it without someone noticing."
Miss Salmon is preparing a planning application and hopes the statue will be on the roundabout by July, in time for the Olympic cycle races.
"We have had a lot of people making very positive comments about it," she said.
"The more iconic it is and the more people appreciate it, the less likely it is that someone will come along and remove it."
Police received 76 reports of metal thefts in Mole Valley in 2010/11, the highest number in the last five years.
Across the county, 1,445 metal thefts were reported in 2010/11, up from 723 the previous year.