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Former England footballers arrested in connection with the taking of a limousine.

Rob Lee, 38, and Warren Barton, 41, were held after the Mercedes E220 saloon was taken from Hackney Road, east London, on Tuesday night (25th July 2007).

The car was found abandoned in the same road, having collided with a van.
The former Newcastle United players were later arrested at two addresses. They have been released on police bail until September.

They were being held over allegations of taking a vehicle and driving while unfit.

Officers are also investigating reports that a satellite navigation system and a mobile phone were stolen from the vehicle.

Lee, from West Ham, east London, was a player at Newcastle United for 10 years and was capped for his country 21 times. Barton, born in Stoke Newington, played for the Magpies between 1995 and 2002, and played for England three times.

Director of Leeds Limousine Hire said "its bad enough with thugs causing problems to the limousine business, but if responsible people like these two start acting irresponsibly then our trade is in grave danger of this type of culture".

The drivers at Limousine Hire London were extremely upset with this news and one said, ‘this is my livelihood and if people start doing this we wont have a job to go to without the fear of being hurt’

Some limo hire organisations now claim it is about time limousine hire drivers are protected by police and even have safety glass in their limousines.  Limousine Hire Nottingham are already experimenting safety cabins in two of their limousines and the Director of the Limo Hire Nottingham branch has already claimed that drivers feel much safer when driving around, especially at night.

Chairman of Limo Hire UK stated, "if we have to make changes to our vehicles to protect the welfare of our drivers then so be it, cost will never be an issue. All vehicles will in the near future have real time vehicle location systems fitted to further protect our workforce".

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