Shenley, a Hertfordshire village situated outside of Radlett and St Albans, houses a small population dominated by the older generation. Local demographics display that the median age is around forty, meaning that the local youth are often disregarded in their value to the local community. Though some may perceive the lack of services offered to young people as a simple annoyance, the severity of this issue has recently come to light as buses have been violently targeted by the local youth. 


The village is distinctly quaint, meaning the prospect of living in such close proximity to London is appealing to many who wish to avoid the somewhat chaotic nature and expense of residing further into the city. Though the quiet nature of this village is what draws so many in, teens living in the area are offered virtually nothing in the way of recreation and stimulation. So what does this mean for the local youth, and how do they react to the lack of services available to them?


A Hertfordshire bus service has been forced to temporarily divert one of the two services currently operating in Shenley to ensure that the safety of passengers. This comes after multiple instances in which the local youth have attacked buses, pelting stones and bricks at vehicles travelling through the area. Many would question why young residents would endanger passengers and disturb local life so severely. Of course, it is far too complex to understand the reasons behind the frustration of the local youth. However, the total lack of youth services in the area must be considered in the context of why young people are not engaged in other activities. Local residents often complain of intimidating young people ‘hanging around’ the small selection of local shops. However, when there is simply nothing for them to do in the area, it could be deemed unsurprising that young people are engaging in anti-social activities. 


Though the behaviour of the local youth is by no means acceptable or justifiable, the reasons behind their actions should be considered before condemning the young residents. In the village, there are currently no services dedicated for teens, as the village simply hosts a very small parade comprising of a mini-supermarket, a nursery and a pharmacy. Therefore, the boredom of young people should not come as a huge shock to older locals.

By Katie McAree