Street Environment Index



SEI is based on the associated concepts of ‘New Urbanism’ and ‘Broken Windows Theory’.  New Urbanism encourages an open network of streets that are accessible and friendly to pedestrians – the presence of pedestrians on the street in turn reduces the opportunity for crime to be committed.


In Broken Windows Theory, when a window is broken in an area and not repaired, there is a gradual withdrawal of people from the street. This increases the opportunity for disorder to take place unobserved which in turn may lead to a further withdrawal of pedestrians.  Such disorder thus becomes an indicator of a ‘fearful’ location – i.e. a location where there are few pedestrians and where no-one will intervene should a pedestrian need help.


The SEI aims to evaluate fear of crime in relation to the likelihood of being observed, using both direct factors, such as surveillance, and indirect factors such as graffiti and fly-tipping.


Please see right column on this page for further information on the SEI.

Key Documents



E: Graeme Evans

E: Ben Calnan

E: Claire Elull



Research led by

LMet University -
Cities Institute