Source: BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cumbria/5262932.stm The cost of cocaine has fallen drastically in recent years. The popularity of cocaine in North Cumbria is growing at an alarming rate, according to police. The number of people arrested for cocaine possession in the first six months of 2006, compared to same period the previous year, has risen by 50%. Carlisle's rapidly expanding nightlife economy is partially fuelling the demand, and drugs gangs are becoming increasingly violent, said police. Arrests for supplying cocaine have more than quadrupled since 2005. Cumbria Police said knives have been used in disputes between rival drugs factions and, although no guns appear to have been used, a CS gas canister and an imitation firearm have been recovered. I think the violence is attributable to the amount of money that it's possible to make by selling this drug Det Insp Stewart Jardine, Cumbria Police Det Insp Stewart Jardine said: "Intelligence would suggest cocaine supplies directly linked to the night-time economy and there appears to be the opportunity for those involved to make a substantial amount of money in a short period of time. "There's no question about it - certain people seem to have access to flash cars, the best clothes, and they're not working to fund this lifestyle. "We've had several violent instances over recent months and a lot that are never reported. "I think the violence is attributable to the amount of money that it's possible to make by selling this drug." In the first six months of 2005, there were 51 cocaine arrests - 44 for possession, and seven for supply. For the same period in 2006, 74 arrests had been made, with more than 30 being supply-related. Falling costs have made cocaine more available to those with lower incomes, according to drugs workers. Cumbria Police said they knew who the dealers were and were working to bring the growing problem under control.