A TODDLER riding on a fuel tank terrified officers trying to combat dangerous bikers.

PC Ian Risden was shocked and appalled at the blatant disregard for the child’s safety after spotting the incident during a police operation.

The boy, aged about two, was sat on the tank of a scrambler bike with an adult crash helmet being ridden on a footpath between Third Avenue and St Christopher’s Close on Sunday afternoon.

The footpath runs next to the open field area known as the Cornfields next to Cornelius Vermuyden School.

PC Risden said: “I think the man thought it was a bit of father and son bonding time but it is so dangerous.

“I couldn’t make it up.

“They were riding on the footpath near where family and children were spending the day.

“It is a recipe for disaster.

“I’ve been riding motorcycles for 35 years, including off road and dirt bikes at authorised and appropriate locations.

“Never on a footpath, never where children are at risk.

“We need the communities help to identify those responsible.

“They saw that there was about three of us and they made off.”

He said police policy states they do not chase people on motorbikes unless directed to do so.

This is the latest incident of the issue on the island.

The policing team has developed Operation Rectify to help combat the problem.

He added: “We want to get footage using drones to get the identity of these people and deal with them as what the are doing is unacceptable.

“I put together Operation Rectify to combat increased problems with bikers on Canvey and also in the Rochford area.”

He explained on Canvey they bikers are riding illegally on large open spaces used by families.

The activity not only puts them at risk but also families and young children playing in the area.

He added far from being harmless fun the activity is really dangerous.

Officers are carrying out regular patrols each day in a bid to try and catch these bikers.

PC Risden also urged anyone with information about these bikers to come forward to help identify them.

He said if people know names, registration numbers of even where people store their bikes they should inform police as soon as possible.

Sgt Mark McQuade of Castle Point Neighbourhood Policing Team, reassured the public that officers are taking concerns seriously.

He said: “The public do not know that we are doing lots of work on this issue.

“We do get lots of complaints from the public and we respond.

“We want the public to know we are watching.”

Anyone with information should call Essex Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.