BANGKOK, Aug. 7 — 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.
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.
“This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” he said. “Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps.”
Ten of the armbands have been prepared, but so far none have actually been issued, according to an officer who declined to give his name while discussing this sensitive topic.
“After this policy came out, the police are scared,” the officer said. “It will be very embarrassing to walk around with Hello Kitty on your arm.” It is a step down from the Crime Suppression Division’s official motto: “When you have no one to turn to, come to us.”
Oh dear, what next? NYPD issued Barbie armbands? Having grown up in Thailand, I find this news quite funny!