The level of alcohol-fuel crime in Wollongong has dropped over the last four year, according to lastest figures.
Between 2016 and 2020 the percentage of alcohol-related crime declined by 15.1 per cent in the Wollongong LGA.
In 2016 there were a total of 341 incidents compared to 177 incidents in 2020.
With offences almost halved, the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found Australians now consume less alcohol.
In 2016 7.6 per cent of people said they were giving it up compared to the increase of 8.9 per cent of people in 2019.
High school PE teacher Ms Jane said the downward trend is really positive especially in relation to young people.
“As a health teacher, I have conversations with young people about this and they are often surprised that this is the case,” Ms Jane said.
“They find it particularly interesting that many young people are choosing to abstain from alcohol and that the age of initiation to alcohol is also rising.”
Ms Jane was not surprised by the statistics because she said there had been a cultural shift around alcohol consumption in Australia.
The number of 14 to 17-year-olds who have never consumed a full standard drink has increased by 38 per cent between 2001 and 2019.
Ms Jane said young people are more aware of alcohol-related harm and more adults are leading by example.
“They are also strongly influenced by people they follow on social media and there is so much focus on health and fitness on these platforms, which is hopefully encouraging young people to value their health more,” Ms Jane said.
Ms Jane said she was concerned adolescents were turning to other drugs instead of alcohol.
In 2019, 16.4 per cent of people over the age of 14 used illicit drugs in comparison to 15.6 per cent in 2016.
“The important thing is that we keep educating them on the risks and help them to develop the skills to make positive choices and keep themselves and their friends safe,” Ms Jane said.