The police commander in New Caledonia Emmanuel Miglierina says police will now shoot back if they are being fired at in their efforts to maintain security near Noumea.
In an interview with the local newspaper, Mr Miglierina said 20 shots hit the armoured police vehicles last weekend when a squad intervened south of Noumea trying to lift a road block.
He said it was the first time that police fired back after about 30 incidents near St Louis in recent weeks when police were attacked with gun fire, leaving five of them with injuries.
Yesterday, police published a photo of a 34-year-old man Ramon Noraro who is wanted after being accused of being the ring leader of a gang of about 15 people at the centre of the attacks.
Mr Miglierina said it is urgent that he be arrested as he is suspected of planning to kill a police officer.
He said the fugitive has been harboured by people in the St Louis area who will now be accountable for their actions.
So far, five people, including two minors, have been arrested in connection with the latest bout of clashes near St Louis which erupted in October after police shot dead an unarmed prison escapee driving a stolen car.
Dozens of stolen cars were dumped and set alight on the road south of Noumea, which is the only one to the territory's very south.