SUDBURY -- Sudbury police have issued a warning that criminal charges could be laid after threats to cause damage to the new mural on Elgin Street are posted on social media.

Over the weekend, a new colourful mural was painted on a busy downtown street in a collaboration between Black Lives Matter Sudbury, members of the Indigenous community, Fierte Sudbury Pride, Place des Art and the Up Here Festival.

The mural reads "BIPOC LIVES MATTER" in both English and French and incorporates colours to represent various marginalized groups as well as Indigenous medicine wheels.

BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour.

It is one of many murals throughout the community, but this newest instalment has appeared to cause some controversy online, prompting police to issue this statement Tuesday morning:

"We are aware that individuals have posted messages on social media indicating their intention to cause damage to the BIPOC Lives Matter mural on Elgin Street. This mural was created with the approval of the City of Greater Sudbury and is lawfully on display. As such, damaging it does constitute a criminal offence and may result in criminal charges.

The Greater Sudbury Police Service has initiated an investigation related to these social media posts and strongly stands against any actions rooted in racism or hatred. We strongly urge anyone considering any participation in the removal or destruction of the BIPOC Lives Matter mural to refrain from doing so as this could result in criminal charges. Please note that the premises are monitored 24/7 by Lion's Eye in the Sky surveillance cameras.

We are dedicated to protecting and serving the community as we continue having respectful dialogues to build public trust and transparency. Rooted in our RICH values of respect, inclusivity, courage and honesty, we are committed to working with community partners and community members to ensure BIPOC and all community members are treated with respect and dignity."