A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death as attackers attempted to steal his bike yesterday evening (28 February).

Alan Cartwright was cycling along a north London street with two friends, when they were confronted by three men on Caledonian Road, Islington. The attackers stabbed him and fled with his friend's bikes.

Cartwright managed to continue cycling a short distance after the stabbing, but collapsed and died as a result of the wound, on the street shortly afterwards. Police were called after 7.30pm and officers and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service attended the scene, but the teenager was pronounced dead.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: "At this early stage it is believed the victim was cycling north on Caledonian Road with friends when they were attacked, near the junction of Copenhagen Street, by three males who were walking in the opposite direction.

"The victim suffered a single stab wound during the attack and two other members of the group had their bikes stolen. The victim managed to cycle further up Caledonian Road before collapsing. The suspects made off from the scene, continuing south down Caledonian Road."

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones has appealed for any witnesses to come forward. "Caledonian Road would have been very busy at the time of the incident and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack, or may have any information as to who is responsible, to come forward and speak to police."

Tributes have been left on Twitter following the tragic incident. "So sad that another Islington kid taken so soon. Thinking of your family at this sad time," said one well-wisher.

Former EastEnders actor Brooke Kinsella, whose 16-year-old brother Ben was knifed to death in north London in 2008, said: "Another young boy lost to knife crime, another family destroyed. Sickening, cowardly, senseless culture. Heart is weary £PutDownYourKnives."

Ms Kinsella has been an ardent anti-knife crime campaigner in the wake of her brother's death.

A post-mortem is due to take place to confirm the cause of death. The young boy's next-of-kin have been informed. A murder probe has now been launched and police were today seen searching the area for evidence.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.