A 15-YEAR-OLD York boy has tragically died in hospital after taking illegal drugs.

North Yorkshire Police said the boy from New Earswick was found by a member of the public in an alley off Hospital Fields Road, near Fulford Road, in York, shortly before 4am today.

A spokesperson said six people between the ages of 14 and 37 had been arrested on suspicion of drugs supply offences and remained in police custody at this time.

"An investigation is underway and specialist officers are conducting searches and inquiries across the city, in order to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident," they said.

"It is believed the boy was with a group of others who were also taking illegal drugs."

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Glass, said:“This is an extremely tragic incident which has resulted in a teenage boy losing his life.

“A team of specially trained officers are supporting the family at this time and I ask that their privacy is respected.

“We will do everything we can to find out how the drugs ended up in the hands of these teenagers.

"However we also need your help. If anyone knows someone who is dealing drugs, or is concerned about a person who is taking drugs, please come and speak to the police. We are here to help and to keep you safe and any information you can give us might just save a life.”

Anyone who saw a group of teenagers in the area in the early hours of this morning is asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, press 1 and pass information onto the force control room.