Security Alert: Crime Advisory – U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru (February 10, 2022)

Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru
Location: Peru (countrywide)
Event: Crime Advisory (February 10, 2022)

For over 15 years, the U.S. Department of State has rated Peru at a critically high risk level for crime.  Maintaining situational awareness of your surroundings and practicing good security precautions with your family will significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim both on the streets and in your home.  Unfortunately, sometimes even the most alert, security-conscious individuals can become victims.  Remaining calm and compliant usually de-escalates the situation.  Here are some Peruvian crime statistics taken from police reports and studies (2020-2021) to aid in perspective:

  • Over 4,000 phones are reported as stolen or lost every 24-hours countrywide.
  • An average of 11 muggings are reported every hour in Lima and Callao.
  • 78,514 crime reports were filed January and March 2021.
  • Lima registered over 500 murders from January to October 2021.
  • 18.6% of Peruvians older than 15 years of age have been victims of crime.
  • 82.3% Peruvians feel that they are at risk of becoming victims.Criminals tend to work in teams.
  • A common criminal trend involves two individuals on motorcycles for “snatch and run.” The ruse of motorcycle delivery services is used to blend into traffic.

Below are some recommendations to help keep you and your family stay safe.

Always …

  • If you are approached by someone demanding your valuables, remaining calm may deescalate the situation.  Handing over your valuables may be the best option to ensure your safety, unless you feel that your life is in danger.  Things can be replaced, you cannot.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and always know your location.
  • Keep bags and other valuables in the trunk or hidden while in a vehicle.
  • Carry minimal valuables on your person and in your car.  Consider only carrying your cell phone, ID, minimal cash/jewelry, and one credit card.
  • Be wary of suspicious vehicles – if you spot one, change your route.
  • Secure your car and keep the windows up.
  • Secure your residential doors and windows and use your alarm if applicable.
  • Be aware of scams.  Discuss with your family and household staff about unusual phone calls or unannounced visitors.
  • If taking taxis, use an app-based transportation or a call-in service.  If possible, stay in a secure location while waiting for your ride.
  • Recognize that criminals often mingle in the presence of street performers, sellers, beggars, and others at traffic lights and congested areas. They also target parking lots, parks, restaurant venues, and similar areas.

Avoid …

  • Avoid using your cell phone on the streets or in traffic.  Attention to your cell phone takes away from your situational awareness.
  • Avoid using your cellphones at night as the “glow” attracts attention.
  • Avoid desolated and dark streets.

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