Wandsworth Council has hit back at claims a three-year-old boy was confronted by police for playing with a toy car in Battersea Park.

It was reported by national newspapers that the child was left in tears after officers in stab-proof vests told him that playing with his toy was against park bylaws.

But a Wandsworth Council spokesman denied this version of events, stating the boy's father was in control of a large mechanical car which can reach speeds of up to 40mph.

A council spokesman said: “Our parks police officers saw an adult male operating a large remote controlled vehicle on the park’s South Carriage Drive.

“Operating a remote controlled car at high speeds at this busy location can be a nuisance and can endanger other park users so our officers simply asked this adult if he would please stop. That’s all that happened.”

Hariz Waiyasil told The Sun that his son, Idrees, was threatened with a caution and told that the toys were banned under park bylaws because they were classed as “mechanically-propelled vehicles”.

Battersea Park receives over three million visitors a year and this is one of the busiest sections of the park with cyclists, joggers, pedestrians and dog walkers.

Hariz told The Sun: “My son just burst into tears. I have nothing against the police but is this really the best use of their time? We weren’t causing a nuisance or annoying anyone.”

Hariz added: “I explained that they were just battery-operated remote-controlled cars, not the noisy petrol ones.

“But the officers said, ‘We’ll give you a warning now, but if you carry on we’ll issue a caution’.”

The council responded that no children were spoken to and no-one was asked to leave the park.