Jay Baptiste, 32, was caught red-handed breaking into a home in West Wickham with another man, after a neighbour alerted the police.
PCs Alex Gray and Matt Lockie were the first officers to arrive at the scene on September 14 last year, surrounding the possible exits after finding the thieves still inside the home.
At the back of the property, PC Gray spotted Baptiste through a window which had been smashed by the burglars, drawing his baton and issuing a “get down” order.
The Met Police said Baptiste ignored the instruction, retreating backwards to where his accomplice was.
As PC Gray radioed for assistance, the second man picked up a spade to smash his way through door in order to escape.
When the officer entered the home through the broken window, Baptiste “reached behind him and picked up the discarded shovel before swinging it at officer’s head multiple times causing serious lacerations to the officer’s head and face”, said Scotland Yard.
Baptiste attempted to use the same escape route as the second man, but he was grabbed hold of by the wounded PC Gray and his colleague PC Lockie.
PC Gray required hospital treatment to his head wounds and has been left with permanent scarring.
Baptiste, from Crystal Palace, admitted burglary with intent to steal, a non-residential burglary, and causing grievous bodily harm, receiving a nine-year prison sentence at Croydon crown court this week.
Detective Inspector Mel Lillywhite said afterwards: “This sentence represents the serious nature of the assault and the injuries sustained by the officer and will ensure that the public are protected from this violent individual for a considerable time to come.
“Assaults against officers will not be tolerated and we will continue to place those who commit violent acts before the courts.
“I would like to commend the officers involved in this case for continuing to do their duty to protect the public despite the horrific level of violence they were faced with, in particular the officer who sustained such awful injuries.
“Police officers are risking their lives on the frontline every day and deserve recognition for their commitment to keeping Londoners and their property safe.”
The second burglar has not been caught.