Ministers were accused of failing to protect the public after it emerged six rapes, murders and other very serious crimes were committed by offenders let loose in the community in the West Midlands.

The offenders, who had already been convicted of sex offences or serious violent crimes, were under supervision from a partnership of police, probation services and social services.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis last night accused Ministers of "a serious failure" in its duty to protect the public.

Across the country as a whole, more than 60 serious offences were carried out by offenders under supervision.

They included three in the area covered by West Mercia Police, one in the West Midlands police area, one in Staffordshire and one in Warwickshire.

The figures were revealed in a series of reports published by police forces yesterday, which also revealed more than 800 sex offenders are living in Birmingham.

In the area covered by West Midlands Police, a total of 1,925 sex offenders are registered.

The annual data showed there are 47,653 violent and sex offenders being monitored in England and Wales, up nearly 7 per cent on last year.

Home Office minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "Protecting the public is at the heart of the Government's priorities, and ensuring the effective management of the most dangerous offenders is a key part of our agenda.

"Whilst we can never eliminate risk entirely, we are all entitled to expect that everything that can be done is being done to prevent offenders from re-offending."

It was the first annual report since the system was criticised for its failings in the case of convicted rapist Anthony Rice. In May this year an inquiry by Chief Inspector

of Probation Andrew Bridges highlighted how Rice killed mother-of-one Naomi Bryant just nine months after being freed from a 16-year jail term because officials placed his human rights above protecting the public.

When Rice had been freed, the local Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel was "distracted" by considering Rice's human rights, the report said.

Rice, 49, strangled and stabbed to death Ms Bryant, 40, at her home in Winchester in August last year, only days

after they had met. Mr Davis said the information revealed ministers' "serious failure" to protect the public. "This is yet more evidence of the Govern-ment's failure to monitor and control dangerous offenders who are placed in our communities, once released from prison.

"It also raises serious questions about the Government's assessment of offenders for release in the first place.

"The Government's primary duty is the protection of its citizens. These figures betray a serious failure by the Government to carry out that duty."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said: "Historically unprecedented levels of re-offending for all crimes are fast becoming the hallmark of this Government. When re-offending is also rife among those who pose the most serious threat to the public, government agencies must be held accountable."