Peruvians call for army intervention over violent crime

STORY: Thousands of people took to the streets of Peru's capital on Wednesday to demand the army intervene to put an end to a wave of violent crime.

The protest comes just days after the government declared a state of emergency in three Lima districts hit by a spike in crime.

This man says criminals have harassed residents and businesses, extorting money and making violent threats.

He says they have reported it to the police but they have done nothing.

Military forces arrived on Wednesday to help enforce the state of emergency.

Scenes of robbery like this have become a common sight in Lima in recent years.

The number of police recorded crimes in the city rose to more than 160,000 last year, compared to around 120,000 the year before, according to the country’s ombudsman office.

This pharmacy was robbed last month. Its owner is worried it could happen again.

[Paulo Gutierrez, Pharmacy owner]

"He pulls out a gun and tells her to give him all the money. He puts the gun away, walks to the cash register, and takes all the money. He leaves and tells the employee 'don't worry the money is not yours.' He leaves, and a motorbike was waiting for him outside. The employee was scared, and so was I because this could happen again, and a bullet could've been fired.''

Peruvian president Dina Boluarte said the state of emergency aimed to raise a, QUOTE: “frontal fight against crime and organized crime.”

The measure suspends civil rights such as the inviolability of the home, meaning police can conduct home search without a warrant.