Three people are on the run in Sydney after allegedly mowing down a plain clothes police officer on purpose in a suburban car park this afternoon.

A senior constable has sustained leg and back injuries after being deliberately hit by a car in a supermarket carpark the city’s north west during a shoplifting operation.

Detectives from the Quakers Hill precinct were at the Stanhope Village Shopping Centre when a woman who they suspected was involved in a theft at the centre ran to her car and drove towards them, just after 3pm.

The group of officers was forced to scatter as the car hurtled towards them, striking the senior constable and knocking him to the ground.

The officer, who was in plain clothes at the time, was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Westmead Hospital with leg and back injuries. He is in a stable condition.

Following the incident, police are appealing for assistance locating the driver, who is described as in her mid-20s and of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance with long brown hair.

They are also looking for two male passengers aged in their 30s or 40s who were in the silver Toyota Camry at the time.

Police Minister David Elliot said the incident was “a reminder of how dangerous police can be … assaults on our police are totally unacceptable”.

Investigations are ongoing.

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