Penalties for attacks on police and other emergency service workers will be reconsidered, after NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman on Tuesday called for the state's sentencing council to conduct a review.
The move comes after a spike in violence and abuse against police in the Hunter and Central Coast regions in recent weeks, in which at least 16 officers were allegedly assaulted in 10 incidents between mid June and mid July.
Mr Speakman said the sentencing review would be conducted to "complement" a NSW parliamentary inquiry into violence against police, which was opened for public submissions last week.
He said the council had been asked to consider sentencing options that would deter and reduce assaults on emergency service workers.
"There can be few more disgraceful acts than deliberate violence committed against our NSW Police Force officers, correctional and youth justice officers, emergency services workers and health workers as they bravely serve our community," Mr Speakman said.
"The review will take into account recent trends in assaults upon these workers, who keep our community safe, protecting our lives, property and health."
The council is headed by former royal commission chair and NSW Judge of Appeal Peter McClellan QC.
The spate of incidents in and around the Hunter began on June 16 when a man allegedly held a female senior constable in a headlock, punched her in the face and pulled out a chunk of her hair on the Central Coast. He also elbowed a male senior constable in the face and grabbed his genitals.
A few days later, a 22-year-old woman allegedly injured the knee and elbow of an officer after a car crash on the Central Coast. On June 21, a sergeant was left with a broken eye socket when he was punched at Telarah.
In two unrelated incidents on June 23, a crowd hurled abuse at police in Hamilton South as a man was arrested for approaching officers brandishing a carving knife. It came a couple of hours before police were allegedly kicked and spat-on at Shortland.
On June 25, a man kicked police in the head and spat blood at an officer at Tuncurry - the same day that a man in custody at Toronto allegedly struck a male sergeant four times in the head.
Two officers were shot with a pellet gun as a siege ended at Maryland on July 2.
A female senior constable hit her head after she was shoved to the ground outside Gosford Hospital on July 11 and another female senior constable was left with facial injuries when she was repeatedly punched in the head at Halekulani on July 14.
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