Ballarat police officers have narrowly escaped serious injury after their car was rammed by a vehicle in the early hours of Saturday.
Sergeant Chris Taylor said police were patrolling along Pleasant Street South before they saw a maroon Hyundai with false plates about 1.30am.
Police attempted to stop the suspicious vehicle but the driver suddenly reversed backwards, smashing into the police car.
A short pursuit was then called off due to safety reasons.
The offending Hyundai was found dumped along Victoria Street at Sebastopol about 20 minutes later but its driver had managed to flee.
Sergeant Taylor called on residents who have any information about the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Alternatively, you can submit a confidential crime report to crimestoppersvic.com.au.
It comes just months after another police car with open doors was rammed along Larter Street at Golden Point.
This followed another incident where a woman allegedly rammed a police car at Gordon in March.
The number of police cars rammed has increased dramatically across the state in recent years, with 30 incidents in 2013-14 compared to 103 in 2015-16.
In response, former Trentham Sergeant Wayne Gatt, who now heads up the powerful Police Association of Victoria, called for a tough new offence that would lock up crooks who ram police cars.
“Legislative amendment is needed now to send the strongest possible message to offenders that if you threaten or assault a police officer, or engage in behaviour like this then you are going to have plenty of time to reflect on it from a prison cell,” Mr Gatt said in May.