Southwark’s top cop has warned that speeding is up during the lockdown as some motorists take advantage of quiet roads to break the speed limit.
Borough Commander Ch Supt Colin Wingrove said average speeds on all roads had seen an increase in recent weeks.
The capital has seen eight fatal traffic collisions since the lockdown was announced on March 23.
Thirty per cent of roads checked by police had speeds of more than ten per cent above the speed limit, while some even had speeds more than fifty per cent over the legal limit, he said.
This is despite overall traffic being down by more than half.
“Whilst we are pleased to see that traffic volume in London has fallen by around 60% in recent weeks, this does not give drivers the right to start breaking the speed limit and put other people’s lives at risk; as well as their own,” said the borough’s top cop.
“High-risk driving results in serious injuries and fatalities, which cause devastation for everyone involved.
“At this unprecedented time, dealing with road traffic accidents puts a lot of additional and unnecessary strain on the NHS and other emergency services, who are working on the frontline 24 hours a day to keep us all safe.”
He urged residents to report speeding if they see it, saying a special Met unit has been established to catch dangerous drivers during the pandemic.
Ch Supt Wingrove also added referrals to the government’s counter-terror programme had collapsed amid the pandemic.
This is because organisations which have a duty to report extremism concerns, have either stopped operating, or are severely reduced such as schools and colleges.
He warned that the risk of people becoming radicalised would not be going away during the coronavirus outbreak – and that it may have even increased.
“Despite the reduction in referrals, we know that the threat is not going away,” he said.
“In fact, it is likely that the risk of radicalisation has increased for a small number of vulnerable people, as the pandemic is driving young people to spend more time online and is exacerbating grievances which make people more vulnerable to radicalisation – such as financial insecurity or social alienation.”
Those who have an immediate radicalisation concern should contact police on 101, he added.