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Dennis Incalcaterra and Sandra Wendt on the somewhat different ticket tour

Photo: Jason Cheplyakov / dpa

Anyone who sees an employee of the public order office standing next to their own car usually gets an uneasy feeling. In Giengen in the district of Heidenheim, things are different right now – at least for all those who park properly and like sweets. That's where the public order office distributes chocolate to real parkers during a week of action during the Advent season.

According to Lord Mayor Dieter Henle, the sweet messages were given for the first time in 2018, when there had been a break during the pandemic years. The city is not alone with this idea. Other cities also hand out sweet nodules, for example during the Christmas season or around Easter.

With the campaign, the city also wants to show another side of the public order office. Henle can't say whether people's parking behavior will change as a result of the campaign – the city doesn't keep statistics on it, but the feedback is positive.

"Once a year, it's OK to hand out chocolate," said Dennis Incalcaterra, a police officer. "Otherwise, not a warning is praise enough." His colleague Sandra Wendt agrees: "You should simply stick to the road traffic regulations." Giengen doesn't make it that difficult for drivers. "In Giengen, no parking space is subject to a fee, all you really have to do is insert the parking disc."

In any case, the campaign seems to be well received by the recipients: "I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased that you don't get a ticket here," said a real parker who had found an Advent greeting with chocolate on his car. "They're welcome to come back at Easter and hand out bunnies."