New figures show that there was a 71% increase in drivers caught speeding across London when the coronavirus lockdown started.
The Met Police issued 3,282 Traffic Offence Reports to drivers suspected of exceeding the limit in April, compared with 1,922 in April 2019.
A further 14,736 people were caught by London’s roadside cameras in April 2020
But a Freedom of Information request found many forces in the UK saw a decrease in speeding as traffic fell.
Kent Police and Derbyshire Constabulary also recorded year-on-year rises in speeding incidents, up 53% and 41% respectively, according to data obtained by the PA news agency.
But the majority of forces who provided data recorded an overall decrease, amid a drop in traffic of around two-thirds as people were urged to stay at home.
Det Supt Andy Cox of the Metropolitan Police said many drivers caught speeding during the early weeks of lockdown did not expect officers to be patrolling near-deserted roads.
“Early on, for some people driving at extreme speeds, they would be really surprised to see us there,” he said.
“They would actually come out and say ‘we thought you’d be busy dealing with Covid’.
“Maybe some people [tried to take] advantage because congestion was less and thought they’d get away with it.”