He was speaking as UDA drug gangs in Co Down continue to feud, causing mayhem for people living in the area.
There have at least 11 attacks on homes in Bangor, Newtownards and Donaghadee involving rival UDA gangs.
Mr Durkan said that police must step up efforts to disrupt and dismantle the groups.
Said the Foyle MLA: “My heart goes out to the local community in Co Down who are suffering as a result of the tight grip these gangsters still hold over their area.
“These people have no place in our society, their existence has never been justified and they are little more than drug dealers and common criminals, existing only to line their own pockets, without a care for the people they falsely claim to represent.
“Nobody’s lives should be disrupted by masked men carrying out attacks on their neighbours in the dead of night.
“This lawlessness is causing significant trauma for the people living in these areas, with everyone from residents to school children being impacted by the actions of these thugs.
“This situation is quickly spiralling out of control and I would urge the PSNI to step up their response and restore calm in these communities.
“I understand that police are in a difficult situation, but we need to shatter the illusion these groups have that they hold any power or influence in these areas.
“We have heard much talk around the potential transitioning of these groups away from criminal activity.
“The time for that has long since passed and anyone engaging in criminal activity, loyalist, republican or other should face the same laws as anyone else.
“These groups have nothing to offer and they cannot be allowed to hold communities to ransom to further their criminal enterprise.
“We need to disrupt and dismantle these groups once and for all and bring those involved to justice,” added Mr Durkan.Tags: