Newcastle's top cop has condemned a spike in violence and abuse towards police across the Hunter and Central Coast, which has seen seven officers allegedly assaulted in the past week, warning these incidents could have "catastrophic" consequences.
Superintendent Brett Greentree said the rise in assaults against police across the region in recent days was "very concerning".
His comments came as police released dramatic footage of an arrest at Hamilton South on Tuesday, where an officer can be heard saying "I thought I was dead" after a man allegedly approached the open window of his car brandishing a large carving knife.
"We're absolutely sick of it," Superintendent Greentree said of the spate of incidents on Wednesday.
"These officers are just going about their business. They are vicious attacks, just cowardly, upon good people, good community members, mums and dads who are just doing their best to protect their community.
"There is a concern with regard to escalation of offences. What concerns me and what should concern the community is the increase in the level of violence towards police."
Since last Tuesday, there have been five unrelated incidents in the Hunter-Central Coast region - with seven officers assaulted and one threatened with a knife.
"I do think there are certainly some issues with regard to attitude [from parts of the community] at the moment - we can take into account national and international affairs, I do acknowledge it's a difficult time for everybody," Superintendent Greentree said.
"The consequences are catastrophic, not just for the officers involved but potentially for those who want to commit these offences against police."
Tuesday afternoon's Hamilton South incident was one of two in the same day, taking place only a couple of hours before three other officers were allegedly assaulted at Shortland.
Footage of the Hamilton South arrest shows police detaining a man while a torrent of verbal abuse is hurled at them from what appears to be dozens of bystanders.
The bodycam vision, released on Wednesday, shows one of the officers warning an aggressive bystander repeatedly to back off, before spraying him with capsicum spray.
"I thought I was dead," one of the two senior constables can be heard saying in the footage, after they had handcuffed the 28-year-old knife-wielder and police back-up had arrived.
The pair of officers had been called to the scene after reports of a brawl on Fowler Street, when 28-year-old Mitchel Randell approached their vehicle with the blade.
Randell pleaded guilty in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday to using an offensive weapon with the intent of committing an indictable offence - he will remain behind bars until he faces court for sentencing on July 16.
Meanwhile, 35-year-old Hamilton South man Christopher James Pyne - who was wearing a rugby-style top and was capsicum sprayed in the video - pleaded guilty to affray and resisting or hindering a police officer in the execution of duty.
He was sentenced to a 10-month jail term, to be served as an Intensive Corrections Order in the community.
Investigators are looking for a third man who allegedly kicked a police car.
The Hamilton South incident came before police were allegedly punched, kicked and spat-on at Shortland just after 4pm on Tuesday.
A 35-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man were charged over the encounter, after police were called to a Long Crescent home following reports of an altercation between a group of people.
The man allegedly grabbed one officer before being restrained, but then allegedly kicked a sergeant and a senior constable.
During the man's arrest, the woman allegedly spat on the officers, kicked a senior constable and stole a set of handcuffs.
The officers suffered minor injuries, NSW Police said in a statement on Wednesday.
The man and woman were both charged with two counts each of assaulting an officer in the execution of duty and resisting an officer in the execution of duty.
Police Association of NSW president Tony King described the spike in assaults and abuse against officers in the Hunter and Central Coast in the past week as "highly visible" and called it "disgusting".
"Police officers are now in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation when it comes to the tasks required of them to physically confront criminal activity," he said.
"No matter what the context is, they are ending up on the front page.
"The effect of bystanders not assisting the police but actively hindering them is making situations much worse and more dangerous.
"That type of attitude has been growing over the last decade and it creates a real distortion effect as well as being part of inciting violence against police."
Several people remain before the courts in relation to other cases of alleged violence against police across the region since the beginning of last week.
On Sunday, 20-year-old Tyrone Fernando was charged after he allegedly punched a police sergeant in the face during a traffic stop at Telarah.
The officer was taken to hospital with a broken eye socket following the encounter, which took place after he stopped the vehicle Mr Fernando was driving about 8.30pm.
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Jason Sims, 24, was arrested on Monday afternoon, accused of fleeing the scene when the alleged assault took place.
It came after a separate case on the Central Coast, in which 22-year-old Indya Selbie allegedly injured the knee and elbow of an officer while being arrested for returning a positive blood-alcohol reading following a car crash at Wamberal.
In another instance, two police were injured during an arrest at Buff Point while responding to a reported domestic incident.
William Peter Kershaw was charged with 13 counts after he allegedly grabbed a female senior constable in a headlock, punched her and pulled a chunk of hair from her head.
He is also accused of elbowing a male senior constable in the face and twisting his genitals.
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