Police have revealed there have been 13 separate incidents in Canberra in the past three months in which offenders have deliberately driven at officers.
Newly installed Assistant Commissioner Peter Crozier said he was shocked that there was an emerging trend in these incidents and he was "appalled that these offenders could have such disregard for the wellbeing of others".
"The community has a right to be outraged at this," Assistant Commissioner Crozier said.
"If they [the offenders involved] will do this to a police officer, they will do it to a mum or a dad.
"They don't care; it's just absolute disregard for others."
Internally, the ranks of ACT police have been troubled by the rising incidence of using vehicles as weapons, the most serious and recent of which occurred on July 11, when 30-year-old Thomas Matthews allegedly deliberately drove his Ford Laser at three officers conducting roadside stops outside the National Arboretum.
Two of the officers, both females, had only graduated from the AFP academy at Barton four weeks previously and were being trained in traffic procedures.
In the impact, both a male leading senior constable and a female constable were thrown onto the bonnet of the Laser.
Police said a second female constable was run over by the vehicle and suffered multiple fractures to her leg, including a compound fracture.
The senior police officer suffered neck and back injuries, while the second female officer also sustained injuries.
Matthews was on bail at the time of the incident, following an earlier incident for which was charged with arson and attacking police officers with a weapon.
He has since appeared in court charged with three counts each of attempted murder and driving at police officers with intent to risk their safety. The matter has been adjourned until August 2.
The Canberra police injuries followed an awful incident on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway in April last year, in which a truck driver hit and killed four on-duty officers.
The Matthews case is set to be a litmus test for new legislation which was passed with bipartisan support in the ACT Assembly last year.
The head of the police federation, Alex Caruana, said the incident demonstrated how dangerous policing was becoming and said this case would be a good test for the new legislation.
"The penalties are rightly harsh, and if convicted, we would hope that a proper and suitable sentence is imposed," he said.
"At the end of the day, the three officers are fortunate to still be with us. This could have very easily been a triple fatality."
Assistant Commissioner Crozier stepped away from criticising the decision by the court to give Matthews bail for his previous alleged offences.
"The bail is a decision for the court," he said.
"We [police] put material up to the court as why a person should be remanded. It's a court decision.
"What I'm concerned about is individuals' decision not to respect bail.
"Bail is not a right. If a person breaches bail or commits offences on bail, that's actually saying something against that decision by the court."
Assistant Commissioner Crozier comes into a newly revived deputy role after a 30-year career with the federal police, with overseas postings in Indonesia, Singapore and the UK.
One of his previous roles was leading the Australian investigation team into the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17, in which 298 passengers - including 38 Australians - were killed when the civilian aircraft was shot down by a missile over the Ukraine.
After years of collecting evidence, the Dutch-led international investigation team has tracked the missile launcher to a Russian army base just over the border from the Ukraine. Russia has stopped its participation in the judicial process.
However, Assistant Commissioner Crozier said that the pursuit of justice in this matter was "our obligation to those victims' memories, and for the families of those who lost their lives".
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: