Peruvian police officers are incredibly helpful and, for the most part, honest. Always carry your passport with you or a photocopy of it if you decide to leave your passport where you are staying. Other means of identification are pretty much worthless, unless you’re renting a car and need to show your international driver’s license. If you are stopped on the street, the only thing police are allowed to do is check your Peruvian visa or passport. If police hassle you for a bribe for whatever reason, politely refuse and offer to go to the police station or just act like you don’t understand. Police will usually just give up and let you go.
Police corruption is much less common now in Peru than it was a decade ago. If you have an encounter with a crooked cop, get the officer’s name and badge number and call Peru’s 24-hour, English-speaking tourist police hotline (tel. 01/574-8000).
Peru has set up tourist police offices in Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Cusco, Huancayo, Huaraz, Ica, Iquitos, Lima, Nasca, Puno, Tacna, and Trujillo. In Lima, the emergency number for the police is tel. 105, but English-speaking operators are usually not available. Your best bet is to call the 24-hour hotline.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition