Three youths have been arrested after a teenage boy was found stabbed to death.

Detectives have launched a murder inquiry after the boy was found with a stab wound to his chest in Lewisham, south east London.

Emergency crews were called to Launcelot Road at about 4am today but the victim, believed to be 16, was pronounced dead shortly after 5.10am.

Three males, aged between 16 and 18, have been arrested in connection with the death and remain in custody at a south London police station, Scotland Yard said.

The dead boy's next of kin have been informed. Formal identification of the victim has yet to take place, the force added.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We retain an open mind as to the motive at this early stage and are actively seeking any information, which can be provided in confidence." Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information should call 020 8721 4868 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The incident happened inside a house in the tree lined residential area close to two schools. The victim's body remained at the scene as police carried out forensic examinations.

People living close by expressed their shock at what had happened. Tyrone Simpson said people were stunned.

"This was a young kid," he said. "It's very sad. I've have young kids of my own and this boy was only 16. It's terrible."

Jordan Hughes said the neighbourhood had experiences with violent crime before. "There's always been trouble in this area, a kid got stabbed in the neck around here a couple of months ago," she said. "It's not a nice thing to happen. Everyone is a bit shocked by it."