A 12-year-old boy has been stabbed in an apparent attempted robbery outside a supermarket.

The youngster suffered hand and leg injuries in the attack near a Tesco Express store in Whitehorse Road, Selhurst, on Monday.

He is the fourth youth stabbed in Croydon in seven days.

The 12-year-old, whose injuries are not though to be life-threatening or life-changing, was approached by three youths just before 4.50pm.

The trio, all thought to be aged between 12 and 15, rifled through his pockets, sparking a dispute in which the victim was stabbed.

The three attackers fled along Whitehorse Road towards St James's Road.

Det Ins Simon Harding, from Croydon police, said: "It appears the suspects have attempted to rob the victim and then after a brief altercation, the victim has then been stabbed twice.

"The description of one of the suspects is quite distinctive and I have no doubt that someone will know or recognise who this is. I would urge anyone with information to come forward."

He added: "This is the third stabbing involving young people in Croydon over the past couple of weeks and whilst they are all unrelated, it will understandably cause concern within the community.

"Overall, knife crime and youth violence in Croydon is on the decrease, but we are not complacent and are working hard to further reduce these.

"Knife crime is an extremely serious offence and young people in Croydon should be in no uncertain terms that if they are caught in possession of a knife then they will face serious consequences.

"If you are thinking of carrying a knife, or any weapon, then don't."

One of the three involved in the latest stabbing was described as white with blonde hair and blue eyes, approximately 5ft 6ins tall and wearing a black woolly hat, dark jacket and grey tracksuit bottoms.

The other two are both black, one 5ft 2ins tall and the other 4ft 11ins.

Anyone with information can call Croydon police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.