The Fleetville area that you refer to around Morrisons etc. is one of the more culturally diverse areas of St Albans, and as such offers something for everyone. It's also got quite an arty vibe, with a large Vintage Emporium and is also well connected for public transport. I'm not aware of there being any particular troubles in that area, but then again most of St Albans is pretty safe. Marshalswick is another popular area - it has its own collection of shops and good schools. We live in the St Stephens area, which is peaceful and largely residential, and the walk in to town through the park is only 20 minutes. We found it offered good value for money in contrast to some other areas of town and offered more in the way of off-street parking and gardens. The streets off Normandy Road, towards the hospital, are nice for period homes but are likely to cost a bit more than similar properties in Fleetville. I hope this has been useful. Good luck with your search for a home and I hope you enjoy all St Albans has to offer.
Fleetville is a little out of town but not too far from the train station. It is fairly scruffy and one of the less affluent areas compared to the rest of town. There is a mostly muslim presence there. There is a nice park called clarence park nearby. Also there is lots of traffic queueing along hatfield road to get into town. I personally think it is a bit of a dump.