Peru is planning to ban gays from joining the police, in an attempt to improve the reputation of the institution.

Interior Minister Mercedes Cabanillas, who has been dubbed the Peruvian Thatcher for her conservative views, has proposed a raft of new measures to raise public confidence in the police.

Along with permanent suspension of any officer found to have sexual relations with someone of the same gender, adulterers will also be barred from the force.

The measures will also censure those who “organise, promote, participate or incite strikes, stoppages or marches.”

Critics have attacked the proposals for being unconstitutional.

Last May, human rights groups expressed concern after the alleged rape of a gay man by the Peruvian police.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission asked its supporters to write to the authorities in Peru about the handling of the alleged case.

Luis Alberto Rojas MarĂ­n, 26, claimed he was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by three police officers in February 2008.

Supporters of the police launched a campaign of protests, abusing the alleged victim’s sexuality and blaming him for the rape.