Thai police to wear 'Hello Kitty' armbands as punishment

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Thai police officers are being punished by being forced to wear large, bright pink Hello Kitty armbands.

The armband, which features Hello Kitty sitting on top of two hearts, will be worn by police officers who commit minor offences. These include littering, lateness and parking in a prohibited area. The officers will also be forced to stay with the deputy chief all day in division office and will be forbidden to disclose their offences. However, police officers caught breaking the law will still be subject to the same penalties and fines as ordinary members of the public.

Police Colonel Pongpat Chayapan said, "Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor. (Hello) Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It's not something macho police officers want covering their biceps. This is to help build discipline. We should not let small offences go unnoticed."

Hello Kitty was created by the Japanese Sanrio Company in 1974. The character has been admired by both children and adults. It features on stationery, T-shirts, lunch boxes, Fender guitars and jewelry. Famous people known to have been spotted with Hello Kitty products include Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Mariah Carey.

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