On my first day in Valparaiso I had my day-sack snatched by two young men and in a separate incident was set up for the "mustard trick" (someone throws some gunge over you and an accomplice offers to help clear it up and picks your pockets while s/he does so) but walked away. The second day passed without crime, so the average is only one crime a day (and of course the second incident may have been an accident and a genuinely helpful man).
I was not doing anything especially foolish. In both cases I was on tourist board recommended walking routes, the first time at the top of the ascensor near the Lord Cochrane museum, the second just off the Elchavir Plaza (now admittedly rather seedy, though still a hub of commerce) on the Plan - and I may have got the name wrong - my guidebook was in my day-sack. Both incidents took place in the afternoon, in daylight, with people all around. But I was obviously a gringo tourist. And perhaps I am uniquely incompetent - I also had something stolen out of my bag in Santiago. But even I had no trouble in three weeks in the North of Chile (or in any of my other travels in Europe, Austalasia and Asia (apart from a mugging in Isfahan, Iran in 1985)).
What is other travellers´actual experience of crime in Valparaiso (and Chile more generally)?
Is Valparaiso worth visiting? Well, a jaundiced view of Valparaiso would be: the plan is just a collection of commercial buildings as in many European cities, though rather more run down. The ascensors are just boxes with no view on the journey - and too short to justify the ride unless v old or v unfit. And the uphill romantic views of the housing rising up the amphitheatre only works in a few places where the accommodation has been restored - mostly you are just looking at run-down old houses. And if you are too cautious to take out your camera or to wander around the alleys then tourism is not going to be much fun.
If it was crime-free I´d say Valparaiso was worth a day trip for some views from the miradors. But it is not crime-free.
So I would say that people need to think about the risk of crime before deciding whether to visit Valparaiso (and come to that Santiago) in a way that one does not have to in say the North of the country. And there the impressive landscapes offer something that one just does not get in Europe and that make the journey well worthwhile, whereas Valparaiso is a more "normal" tourist experience.
What do others think?