To Punish Thai Police, a Hello Kitty Armband

BANGKOK, It is the pink armband of shame for wayward police officers, as cute as can be with a Hello Kitty face and a pair of linked hearts.

07kitty.jpg
No matter how many ribbons for valor a Thai officer may wear, if he parks in the wrong place, or shows up late for work, or is seen dropping a bit of litter on the sidewalk, he can be ordered to wear the insignia.

“Simple warnings no longer work,” said Pongpat Chayaphan, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, who instituted the new humiliation this week. […]

Mr. Pongpat, who has trained with the American Secret Service and the Canadian police, was promoted to head the division three months ago and says he wants to modernize his force, “even though we lack the highest technology, equipment and mind-set.” […]

An early experiment using armbands was not encouraging. Mr. Pongpat first tried using plaid ones. But instead of feeling shame, Major Weeraprach said, the officers took them home as souvenirs. The force still has only one of the ten it originally issued.

Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/world/asia/07cnd-thai.html?ex=1187409600&en=6139cfd6c732e7da&ei=5070

[thanks Maaike for alerting me!]

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