No more man, no more problem. Clearly, rioters are a problem. They're presumably against your government's regime, and allowing them to continue on would be a real pain, wouldn't it? A real problem. So, just get rid of the man, and you're all good. Flamethrowers have a wide sweep, they'd be perfect for killing crowds of people.
Only the most bleeding heart liberals would, even for a minute, to think any of those rioting goons are still capable to reasons - as it has been known, rioting crowd operates more like a swarm, the crowd effect took away individual's ability to reasons and every other inhibitions that'd be a standard to any civilized human being.
Given rioters now proliferated the use of gas marks and other sundry protection measures, tear gas or pepper spray no longer effective, and that makes the rioting crowds becomes more bold.
So here's the flamethrowers step in - fear of fire is hard-wired into human's instinct, so what's better at snap them back to their senses other than hot streams of flaming liquid coming at them from 50m away?
Rioters are nothing more than a terrorist mob, they destroy social orders to sate their taste of wanton destruction. Society so let such foul beings dies where they stand, even to burn them alive if need be.
There breaking law, you don't have to right to go around and riot. If they want to go around destroying private property and attacking people, then they have to deal with the consequences. If that means being set on fire then so be it. They wanted to riot, they'll feel the consequences.
They're the worst 'weapons' ever. They both manage to be bad in killing and overly devastating at the same time. They burn excess amounts of fuel into the air and run out of fuel really quickly (users have to wear it on their backs which makes them slow and inefficient) as well as the obvious problem of fire being impossible to control. They'd cause way more damage than it would if you just let the rioters tear the area apart themselves. This is possibly the most ridiculous suggestion I've ever heard and I just hope to god it's only the idea of the author here and not actually something being considered in real life.
You know what would be good for riot control in most cases though? Actually offering to listen to and fully discuss what it is the rioters want! I know it's a crazy idea and could be considered too radical for today's cultured society, but it just might work...
Yep. Very bad idea. The use of Flamethrowers or any kind of incendiary weapons is cruel and barbaric way of killing people. Police working in riot control are tasked with dispersing the crowd, not to maim and kill. It's bad enough with the riots in Missouri, using flamethrowers on crowds would piss off the UN very greatly.
Flamethrowers aren't meant to be used, and should not be used for crowd control or other means such. Just think of the consequences that could come out of it if such tactics were approved by law. Teargas is one thing because it isn't as painful and there are little to no side effects. With flamethrowers, you're talking people getting severe burns, potential injuries, hospital visits, medication; I could go further than that; potential for fires, personal possessions burned or ruined. In other words... Lawsuits. Plus there needs to be justification for why these devises should be used in the first place. But I've already made my case.
Flamethrowers cause devastating and immediate harm, and thus are not ideal for crowd control, as the idea is to try and keep people contained, not to seriously injure them.
There are far more effective and less violent measures such as pepper spray, tear gas or even water cannons.
Flamethrowers also come with the possibility of fire hazards.
It is hard for flame-throwers to be considered effective for crowd control (they are not as convenient as pepper spray or tear gas, and not as large scale as water cannons), and thus they should not be used.
No Democratic government would allow the use of flamethrowers to control a riot, a flamethrower is a lethal weapon not meant for safe crowd control.
If they did they would be voted out in the next election or could trigger an open rebellion, just look at the violence that has happened in recent riots in America after a few of the rioters were killed by police.
If a flamethrower were used it wouldn't just be a few people killed it would be the entire front of the crowd taken out. News of such an event would spread around the world and those responsible would be punished either by their Government or the UN.
It is possible some countries might do it, possibly Syria before ISIL appeared the Syrian government was using the Syrian military to try and put down a civilian uprising against their government.
People should be thankful the police have specialized training to deal with Riots and actually take the time risking their lives to try and peacefully disperse a crowd.
Look up history of how riot were dealt with in the past, more often than not the military would be called in, with live ammunition and bayonets to disperse a crowd.
The riot gear modern police forces use has developed over the years(rubber bullets, Water cannons, Riot shields/body armor, tear gas, etc) to reduce the risk of loss of life for both the crowd and the police its not perfect but it will continue to change and hopefully improve over time.