Hong Kong's outgoing top cop has taken a parting shot at pro-democracy protesters who occupied busy streets in parts of the southern Chinese financial city for nearly three months last year.

Retiring Police Commissioner Tsang Wai-hung said Monday that he was concerned about "increasing radicalization of protests" and "an increasing sense of lawlessness" among protesters.

Tsang, known for having a tough stance, has been criticized over the police force's handling of the so-called Occupy Central protests.

The protests spiraled into chaos last September after officers arrested student leaders and fired dozens of rounds of tear gas on demonstrators.

In one of the darkest moments for the force, seven officers were arrested in November after they were caught on camera beating a handcuffed protester during a nighttime clash the month before.