POLICE launched a clampdown on pavement stalls in August 1984 in a effort to clean up Cowley Road.

Officers said four shopkeepers were reported for possible prosecution for obstructing the pavement.

However shop owners feared the move could harm their businesses.

Owner of Ashraf Bros general grocers, Mohammed Akram, said he had been visited twice by police about keeping stalls on the pavement.

He said: "It's OK for the big stores because they have plenty of room for all the stores inside their shop but when you're a small shop every inch of space matters."

Mr Akram said he believed the crackdown was sparked by a small number of people complaining to police about stalls taking up too much room on the pavement."

Police said they were taking a 'common sense' approach to the matter.