The boy was attacked in an estate off Ingrave Street in Battersea, south London Google Streetview

A 17-year-old cyclist was hacked to death by a gang of masked youths wielding machetes in an attack on a London housing estate, witnesses have said.

The teenage victim reportedly tried to flee from his attackers but was chased and stabbed multiple times, before being left for dead sprawled on a car bonnet in Battersea.

Residents living in the Ingrave Street estate told the Evening Standard how they awoke in the early hours of Sunday (23 April) to the boy's scream of "help me, I'm dying".

They said the balaclava-wearing gang arrived on the estate in a car and had been "hassling" passers-by earlier on Saturday evening.

A 45-year-old neighbour told of the moment the victim was attacked.

"There were about six of them, they jumped out of the car and started chasing him immediately," they told the Evening Standard. "He was on his bike but they caught up with him and stabbed him.

"Someone shouted 'police are coming' which stopped the others from finishing him off and they got in the car and sped off."

The boy was taken by ambulance to a south London hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 90 minutes later.

Although formal identification awaits, officers believe they have established the identity of the deceased and next of kin have been informed. There have been no arrests.

The boy became one of three people stabbed to death in London over the weekend.

On Saturday, a man, believed to be aged in his early 40s, was stabbed to death in Enfield. Three male suspects, aged 17, 18 and 21, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

On Sunday night, a 60-year-old man was found dead from knife wounds at an address in Bow. There have been no arrests.

Gun and knife crime in London have soared by double digits in the last year, official figures show.

Firearm offences went up by 42% between April 2016 and April 2017, while knife offences rose by 24% during the same period.

There were a total of 2,544 gun offences last year compared to 1,793 the year before, while knife crime was up from 9,742 to 12,074.

Martin Hewitt, the Met Police's assistant commissioner, said earlier this month officers were concerned about the rise in offences.

"There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone," he said. "We must work with communities to help combat knife crime."

In spite of the numbers, Hewitt insisted that London remained a safe city, saying: "London is one of the safest global cities in the world. There are few others with such low rates of serious crime such as murder and gun crime.

"Similar to the rest of England and Wales, crime rates in London are rising, but many of these are still at a much lower level than five years ago and are against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources."

Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation into the murder in Battersea is asked to call the incident room at Lewisham via 101. To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or give information via the website