NSW's police chief has warned there will be "consequences" if officers continue to be criticised for using aggressive tactics to protect themselves and others.
Commissioner Mick Fuller on Thursday hit out at critics of the police force following several violent attacks on his officers in recent days.
A young constable remains in hospital after being stabbed with a makeshift spear while serving an arrest warrant in Sadleir on Tuesday, while a senior female officer was allegedly punched and kicked during a patrol at Hornsby.
Three officers were also allegedly kicked, scratched and spat on after attending a house fire and arresting a woman in South Wentworthville.
Mr Fuller said while the rate of assaults against police was up slightly, the level of violence was increasing.
One of the biggest challenges facing officers is that they're often criticised for taking "aggressive actions" to protect themselves, he said.
"My fear for young operational police is that the only time they're supported is when they're assaulted first, then they feel empowered to take necessary action," he told 2GB.
"Anytime there's CCTV or phone footage of a police officer becoming hands-on on an offender, they're automatically criticised. They're found guilty of excessive force - potentially in the media and across some areas of the community.
"People need to understand there are consequences if you're going to handcuff the police force."
He said part of the problem was that a lot of people think they're so well-informed that they understand the law better than police.
"Everyone's an expert solicitor and they're happy to tell us what we're empowered to do and what we're not rather than just abiding by the laws to make sure NSW is the safest place," Mr Fuller said.
"People need to support us when we're kicking doors or we're searching people. It needs to be the right people, but you can't come back and criticise police for taking strong action when all we're trying to do is get some respect back on the street."
He believes police and other emergency service personnel need to be better protected, saying he is sometimes disappointed with sentences handed to those who assault officers.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott agreed that attitudes towards police need to change.
"It is a societal issue," he told 2GB on Thursday.
"This is because we live in a disposable society - people have no respect for authority."
Australian Associated Press