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Thai police strapped with Hello Kitty armbands

Delinquent officers bear 'mark of shame'

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A new punishment awaits rule-breaking Thai police officers: Hello Kitty armbands.

Unable to control his officers with other disciplinary measures, Colonel Pongpat Chayaphan has said that those caught breaking police rules will be forced to wear a pink armband tagged with Hello Kitty and a pair of hearts, The Associated Press reports.

"Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offence, no matter how minor," said Pongpat, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.

"(Hello) Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It's not something macho police officers want covering their biceps," Pongat said. But he stopped short of ordering his officers to wear the pink armbands in public. He believes that a day spent in the division office with this "mark of shame" is punishment enough.

"We want to make sure that we do not condone small offenses," Pongat said, including littering and arriving late, and he's confident that as he cracks down on such misdemeanors, he'll also curb more serious problems, such as police brutality and abuse of power.

No word on when or how the Colonel plans to solve the problem of gender imbalance on the Thai police force. ®

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