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Hello Kitty: the new scarlet (-ish) letter?

Littering, parking in a spot that is clearly not reserved for you or coming in late for work is an, ahem, catastrophic offense—that is, if you’re a Thai police officer. Slap-on-the-wrist penalties for small infractions apparently no longer work for Bangkok’s police force, so punishment for the officers is getting a mall-rat facelift: Enter Sanrio’s famous feline. According to the New York Times, officers who can’t abide by the rules will don bright pink, Hello Kitty–and–heart decorated armbands with their uniforms, a move that Pongpat Chayaphan, the acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, hopes will encourage officers to stay in line. “Kitty is a cute icon for girls,” Chayaphan says, “It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps.” We predict the armband will become a coveted symbol of rebellion among fashion-forward Thai tweens.

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