The West Midlands has been named as one of the most violent places to live in a new report from the Home Office.
Gun crime, murder and other violent crime is higher here than almost anywhere else in the country - even though the number of offences involving firearms is falling.
Gun crime has fallen to 959 incidents, down from 1,138 in the West Midlands.
But this still comes to 37 offences per 100,000 people - higher than anywhere except London and Greater Manchester.
The report warned: "Fifty-four per cent of all firearm offences (excluding air weapons) in 2004/05 occurred in just three police authorities: Metropolitan, Greater Manchester and West Midlands."
There were 87,850 violent crimes in the area covered by West Midlands Police last year, or 262 for every 10,000 residents.
Even taking into account the region's large population, this is is higher than any part of the country except for London or Merseyside.
In West Mercia there were 19,849 violent crimes, or 160 for every 10,000 people, while in Warwickshire there were 7,279 violent crimes, or 140 for every 10,000 people.
But Staffordshire had a relatively high crime rate, with 25,681 offences recorded, or one for every 245 residents.
Violent crime across the country has fallen by 43 per cent since 1995, due partly to a large reduction in domestic violence. The number of reported homicides in the West Midlands rose from 45 to 65.
This came to 25 homicides per million residents, again higher than anywhere except London and Merseyside.
It meant West Midlands residents are five time more likely to be murdered than those in Staffordshire, where the homicide rate is five people per million.
Around one in 28 people will become a victim of violent crime each year, the report said. But the dangers are far higher for young men aged 16 to 24. One in seven of them will be the victim of a violent crime.
And almost a quarter of 10 to 15 year-olds were victims of violent crime in the last 12 months, mostly at the hands of people their own age.
The report also highlighted a survey of people aged 10 to 15 which found one in seven admitted to taking part in a violent crime in the last year.
Almost half of these offences were committed because the offender was "annoyed or upset".
One in eight of the offences were committed for "fun" or "the buzz", the offenders said.
Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said: "The war against crime we are winning but I can point to battles - and street crime I can point to as an example - where we are not doing as well as we need to."
Street crime was an area which showed "the toughness of the battle against crime is very real", he added.
Shadow police reform minister Nick Herbert said: "The Government is clearly failing the public when it comes to violent crime."